Citizens Advice (CAB) has seen a dramatic surge in consumers seeking help with mortgage arrears cases in 2008.
In the first two months of the year, Citizens Advice Bureaux across England and Wales saw mortgage arrears enquiries climb by 35 per cent compared to early 2007 – with the total number of debt problems dealt with amounting to 215,000 across three-quarters of Bureaux.
Meeting other household bills such as water, gas and electricity and council tax, was also seen to be a growing issue.
Debts is top priority for consumers contacting Citizens Advice, accounting for one in three enquiries, with those relating to credit, store and charge cards forming the largest individual category.
However the figures for plastic debt bucked the trend usually seen at this time of year, falling by 9 per cent, with overdraft issues up 7 per cent to fill the gap.
Teresa Perchard, director of policy for Citizens Advice said: “These latest figures paint a worrying picture – the combination of big increases in household bills, especially fuel, and rising housing costs is putting additional pressure on people’s finances when they are already stretched to the limit.”