Consumer debt ‘passed for collection’ exceeds £60 billion


The amount of consumer debt handed over to debt collection agencies (DCAs) or sold on to debt buyers has exceeded the £60 billion mark for the first time, according to the latest figures from the Credit Services Association (CSA), which officially represents the UK debt collection industry.

At the end of June 2012, the amount of unpaid consumer debt held for collection by CSA members stood at a total of £61.4 billion. This was made up of £33.2 billion passed on by lenders to debt collection agencies, and an extra £28.2 billion of debt owned by debt buyers.

This figure represents an 18% increase (£9.5 billion) in the amount of consumer debt held for collection compared with the same time last year, and a 5% rise (£3 billion) compared with this year’s first quarter (January-March 2012).

Furthermore, the individual account balance for borrowers typically increased to £1,189 at the end of 2012’s second quarter (from £1,133 in the first quarter), making it the highest value the CSA has yet seen.

Sara de Tute, President of the CSA, commented:

“The trend towards a larger average balance for each debt could suggest that more customers within ‘middle England’ are falling into debt for the first time, and certainly this is a view that is shared anecdotally by some of our members.”


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