R3, the insolvency trade body, has published a ‘bankruptcy map’ which reveals that Thurrock had the third highest number of new personal insolvency cases.
The bankruptcy map looks at the number of new bankruptcies and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) that occurred in England and Wales.
According to the survey, Thurrock had 338 new cases. Only Torbay and West Devon were higher.
If the figures are translated as new cases per 10,000, then Thurrock is number 10 in the chart.
1. Torbay (45.8)
2. Kingston upon Hull (40.7)
3. Lincoln (39)
4. Plymouth (38.8)
5. North Tyneside (37.4)
6. Gateshead (37.1)
7. Corby (37)
8. Hastings (36.9)
9. West Devon (36.9)
10. Thurrock (36.7)
The figures indicate that people who live in London are least likely to go into a formal insolvency procedure which makes Thurrock’s figures even more puzzling.
In 2005, Tilbury and Purfleet were marked as 1st and 2nd in the UK for the number of County Court Judgements that residents had against them.
If you visit the London Gazette website, you will see that there are people in Thurrock from every ward and area who have been declared bankrupt.
Manager of the Thurrock Citizens Advice Bureau, Mike Rawlings said: “Although Thurrock appearing in the top ten of personal insolvencies hotspots may seem like bad news it should be remembered that behind these figures are real people who have been trying to cope with rising debt problems.
“While personal insolvency might seem extreme, it is often the best way to deal with what seems to be an insurmountable problem. It allows people to make a fresh start.
“The tragedy is not necessarily the bankruptcy but the financial and debt problems which led to that course of action in the first place.
“As one of the largest free debt advice agencies in the Eastern region, Thurrock CAB helps thousands of residents consider the best options for dealing with their debts, one of which may be bankruptcy; but there are many issues to consider and the charity advises people to seek advice as soon as possible if they are experiencing debt problems.’
R3’s President, Steven Law commented:
“Londoners are least likely to become insolvent as there are more employment opportunities in the region. Unfortunately, with the announcement of public sector job cuts, it is likely that the figures will worsen, especially in areas such as the North East where public sector employment is high.”
“It is unsurprising that many of the top ten insolvency hotspots are coastal towns. Tourism and leisure services businesses are often the main employer in these areas and, when people are reining in their spending, these services tend to be the first affected which means businesses reduce staff hours or cut jobs; or replace permanent jobs with temporary positions.
“A low percentage of formal personal insolvencies does not equal good news, especially as the insolvency industry estimates that 500,000 people are in informal insolvency procedures and R3 research shows that nearly 1 million people are struggling with debt and have not yet sought help. R3 advises anyone who is in financial difficulty to seek advice sooner rather than later.”