South Shields is getting to grips with its debt problems

Bankruptcy rates are improving in South Shields.
Bankruptcy rates are improving in South Shields.
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Purse strings have been tightened as bankruptcy rates in South Shields show signs of recovery, say credit experts.

Personal insolvency in the borough dropped by 18 per cent across towns in the north and Scotland, according to new figures released by credit rating company Experian.

In South Shields, insolvency rates dropped by 49 households per 100,000 of the population in 2014 to 34 last year.

This places the town at number 21 in the top 25 areas of improvement – with Skegness taking the top spot by dropping from 60 to 37.

Experian’s Andy Wills said: “It’s encouraging to see an improving picture for personal insolvencies, particularly in the North of England and Scotland. However, there are still areas that are struggling and the potential for levels of bad debt to rise among those most vulnerable is high.”

He added: “The majority of people struggling with debt want to somehow regain control of their finances.

“However, it can be a very stressful and emotional time, and the embarrassment of speaking to someone about their debts can be a barrier to taking those first steps to recovery.

“This is why it is important for credit providers to understand the best way to communicate with affected customers, as well as understand what, if anything, they can afford to repay.”

Families with children living in low-cost homes and elderly people who mostly live alone made the greatest progress, according to analysis from Experian’s Mosaic people classification system.

The Family Basics group recorded 66 bankruptcies in every 10,000 households last year, down from 77 in 2014, while the Vintage Value group improved to 34 from 42 in every 10,000 households.

No Mosaic group suffered an increase in personal insolvencies when comparing the two full years.

Torquay had the highest rates of insolvency with 62 households per 100,000 suffering, Kingston Upon Hull came in second with 52 per 100,000.