Debt deepens

Debt problems are getting worse, with increases in mortgage and credit card arrears, personal insolvency and contact with debt advice agencies, a government report concluded yesterday.

The annual report on tackling debt found calls to helpline the National Debtline rose by 43 per cent in 2005, and personal insolvency rose 12.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2006 on the same period last year.

Numbers of properties repossessed in the first quarter of 2006 were 32 per cent higher than in the last quarter of 2005, marking the highest quarterly total since 2001.

The report warned that increasing household bills could make things worse this year, though claimed government programmes to tackle debt were bearing fruit.

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