CAB swamped with debt pleas

PUBLISHED: 13:36 09 February 2007 | UPDATED: 22:34 28 May 2010

FENLAND Citizens Advice Bureau is being overwhelmed by pleas for help with debt problems. The bureau has been awarded funding so it can offer further specialist debt advice for one year to help cope with record number of requests. Linda Hutchinson, Fenlan

FENLAND Citizens Advice Bureau is being overwhelmed by pleas for help with debt problems.

The bureau has been awarded funding so it can offer further specialist debt advice for one year to help cope with record number of requests.

Linda Hutchinson, Fenland district manager for the CAB, said: "We are just being overwhelmed by people in debt at the moment, it is horrendous. I think it is going to get worse and we are seeing more and more bankruptcies."

Mrs Hutchinson said staff expected the usual slowdown in debt advice before Christmas and then a much busier time in January when bills had to be paid. Last year she said there was no slowdown in the run-up to the festive period. She has hit out at irresponsible lending which is seeing young people with huge credit card debts.

Despite the increasing workload, Mrs Hutchinson says it is important for those in debt to seek help before things spiral out of control.

She said: "Don't bury your head in the sand. If people sought our advice earlier it would be so much easier to for us. People are going to these fee charging debt management companies and are just getting deeper into debt."

Mrs Hutchinson said it was vital people didn't end up losing their homes to pay off consumer debts.

Funding for the post is coming from the Financial Inclusion Fund but Mrs Hutchinson said it is for one year only.

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