Northumberland insolvency figures rise during pandemic
More people in Northumberland fell into debt last year despite "enhanced" financial support from the Government during the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.
People who take out formal insolvency solutions – such as bankruptcy or a voluntary arrangement to pay off their debt - are added to the Individual Insolvency Register, meaning they are formally in debt.
Insolvency Service data shows 738 people fell into debt in Northumberland in 2020 – up by three per cent on the 716 the year before.
In cases of insolvency last year, most (551) saw the person enter into an individual voluntary agreement with creditors, while 88 went bankrupt.
A further 139 applied for a debt relief order, which allows those who cannot afford to pay their debts to stop paying them for a period.
Nationally, 111,400 people went insolvent in 2020 – down from 121,900 in 2019, and the first fall in five years.
The Insolvency Service said this was likely to have been partly driven by "Government financial support" put in place during the pandemic.
The Money Advice Trust said measure, such as the furlough scheme have provided a "welcome lifeline" to many.
But Jane Tully, director of external affairs and partnerships at the charity, added: “With a difficult winter ahead, and the full impact of the pandemic still to materialise on household finances, it is likely insolvency levels will rise again.
A spokesman for the Government said it paused evictions and extended notice periods during the pandemic, and introduced the Breathing Space scheme to help people in problem debt.