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Bankrupt Scotland

From an editorial in The Herald

Although it is traditionally people on the lowest incomes who get into debt they cannot repay, the boom in consumer credit, fuelled by rising house prices, has brought many middle-class families to the point where they are only a couple of pay packets away from not being able to meet their repayments. It only takes one setback, such as their marriage ending or losing their job, to plunge them into unmanageable debt.

The 14.5% increase in the number of Scots being declared bankrupt between 2006 and 2007, however, is likely to be a harbinger of worse to come. The scale of the situation is brought home by the fact that the 1563 Scots declared bankrupt in the last quarter of 2007 amounted to nearly twice the average number for any three-month period three or four years ago.
This is a reflection of the record levels of personal debt (one estimate of Britain's debt from credit cards, loans, overdrafts and mortgages is £1.35 trillion) but when that level of …

In Debted to Capitalism

Researchers have found that, by the age of 50 years and 90 days, the typical adult will shake off the shackles of debt. In Scotland, debt-free status comes at an average age of 49 years and six months . To pay off their debts, people use a mixture of salary, inheritance, windfalls and profits from investments.

Until then, the average Briton is in debt to the tune of £10,306. Men are deeper in the red, with debts totalling £12,631, while the average woman owes £7,982, excluding any mortgage.

"There are a lot of people in a cycle of debt. They're paying for credit over ten to 15 years, which means they may not pay it off until their retirement." Stuart Glendinning, the managing director of Moneysupermarket.com said .

A spokesman for Your Money Matters said: "As the cost of living continues to rise, we're being forced to save through our twenties and delay the major milestones of life until our thirties. On top of that, the average cost of a house is now well over £20…

Personal debt increases

Over 8 million British adults are in serious debt and over 2 million are struggling with repayments. 18% of adults in Britain are in £10,000 or more of unsecured debt such as credit cards, overdrafts, loans and store cards .The number of bankruptcies rose by 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006. Around 420,000 people were prosecuted for defaulting on loan repayments in the first six months of this year - up eight per cent on 2006. Scotland was revealed as the area with the highest proportion of indebted residents .

The Bank of England has raised the cost of borrowing five times in the past year to 5.75 percent -- the highest level in six years. Analysts expect another rise to 6 percent by the year end . High levels of unsecured debt are clearly linked to the rise in interest rates over the last 12 months . The record rise in house prices -- especially in London and the south-east -- has led to a growing discrepancy between mortgage payments and…