The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in the UK is saying that based on their recent clients, it will take an average of 93 years for people to get out of debt. The CAB model is unlike anything available in the U.S.
Citizens Advice works to provide fee advice to consumers and is supported by funds from the UK government.
Citizens Advice said the average person who came to it for advice owed £16,971, two-thirds more than the average debt accumulated by its clients in 2001.
David Harker, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “These findings make sobering reading, especially as they are based on data collected just before the worst of the credit crunch began to bite.
“Low income, combined with irresponsible lending, unreasonable debt collection practices and badly informed financial decisions are at the root of many of our clients’ debt problems.
“For many there is little prospect of their income increasing or their circumstances changing. The reality is that they are condemned to a lifetime of poverty overshadowed by an inescapable burden of unpayable debt.”
The United Kingdom is moving far ahead of the United States in providing tangible advice and assistance to people with low incomes who have no other place to turn for help. In addition to the CAB, the UK has also recently implemented a new cheaper form of insolvency called the debt relief order. Under a debt relief order a credit counseling group can help to make a consumer bankrupt without having to go to court.