Debt collectors go empty-handed as paying off debts get harder

20 April 2005
The Credit Services Association (CSA), which represents the UK debt collection industry, has today revealed a significant fall in the money they collected in the first quarter of 2005 - suggesting that people are finding it harder than ever to pay off their debts.

CSA members have reported that turnover was down by as much as ten per cent (year-on-year and seasonally adjusted) in the first part of this year.

The news comes despite the fact that the UK debt mountain is higher than ever, with the amount of debt passed to CSA members to recover now exceeding £5 billion, comprising 20 million cases.

"With instructions to collect permanently on the rise, you would expect the amount of monies collected to rise commensurately," said Scott Soutar, president of the CSA.

"This is not happening. Despite encouraging and assisting the customer into finding solutions to financial problems, debt collectors are finding it increasingly difficult to collect, and consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to pay."

According to CSA figures, more than six million households in the UK are now believed to be in debt, owing an average of 118 per cent of income - an increase of more than a quarter (28 per cent) on a decade ago.

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