Here are some really depressing statistics compiled by Credit Action:

Britain’s personal debt is growing by £1 million every 4 minutes, and 300 people today will be declared insolvent or bankrupt. House repossessions are expected to increase from 17,000 in 2006 to 42,7000 in 2009.

The Samaritans say that the biggest cause of stress is money (51%), and the Legal Services Research Centre have found that 89% of debt clients reported worrying about their debts most or all of the time. 48% said the impact on their health was `great’ and 43% that their health was effected `to some extent’. What is most worrying, is that 60% of debt clients had received medication, treatment or counseling, and 45% said that being in debt had had a negative effect on their relationships with their partners. We all know someone who is suffering in this way – What can be done?

The first thing is to get free, confidential and impartial advice on the best options available. There are often more choices open to someone who is struggling with their debts than they may be aware of. Sometimes IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) or bankruptcy is the best solution, but alternatives can be explored.

Even following a bankruptcy, getting professional help with liaising with creditors can bring about reduced interest on debts – in one case, Fiona Monson’s firm Armida Business Recovery saved a client £43,000 by agreeing a different basis under case law with creditors.

Dealing with debt is not just a practical issue, as the statistics above show, but an emotional one too. Armida Business Recovery have an all female staff, who provide independent, free, confidential and impartial advice.