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Debt families on breadline facing court orders and bailiffs

PUBLISHED: 13:13 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:29 05 October 2010

FAMILIES on the breadline in London’s deprived East End who are up to their necks in debt are facing more and more bailiffs and court orders. They are letting debts run up to an average £12,700 before seeking help, a shock report reveals

By Dean Valler

FAMILIES on the breadline in London’s deprived East End who are up to their necks in debt are facing more and more bailiffs and court orders.

The struggling households—many without anyone with a job—are letting their debts run up to an average of nearly £12,700 before seeking help, a shock report reveals.

Tower Hamlets is among the most hard-hit areas of London for debt, with an average income of just £732 a month—only half the average family earnings in Britain.

Research carried out by Capitalise, the debt advice charity partnership led by Whitechapel’s Toynbee Hall settlement in the heart of the East End, has found families are now facing bailiffs before they seek help with their financial crises.

CRY FOR HELP

The partnership today is calling for Government action to prevent the families sinking further in a sea of debt.

“Creditors are reacting to the credit crisis by passing on more cases to debt collection agencies and resorting to court action or bailiffs,” said Toynbee Hall chief executive Graham Fisher.

“We’re calling in the Government, local authorities, employers and the voluntary sector to stop people accruing and sliding into debt.”

The crisis is worse in the East End than elsewhere. The London average debt among people seeking help has increased by 16 per cent in the last year to more than £18,000, half as much again compared to East End families—but with an average £3,000 income a month more.


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