Concerns over debt in Lisburn

THE CITIZENS Advice Bureau in Lisburn say that last year they dealt with £5m of debt and fears that the total number of clients and debts are set to increase.

Since April 1, CAB have now 160 new clients and are dealing with a total amount of debt of £577,902.

Manager John Maxwell urged people not to sit on their debt but to deal with it directly. especially in the run up to Christmas.

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“Debt is an all year round problem,” he said. “We will probably see an increase in the number of clients around January/February.

“Our advice to everyone is to draw up a budget and stick to it. Not easy when your children are asking for expensive toys. It is important that anyone who gets into financial difficulties seeks help as soon as possible.

“Last year we dealt with over £5 million of debt. Our Money Advice telephone number is 028 9262 7977.”

Mr Maxwell, also expressed his concern that many people were not claiming Welfare Benefits they are entitled to. Mr Maxwell said that from talks he has had with local community representatives and groups it was evident that people were not aware of their entitlement to benefit.

“I would urge people, particularly the elderly to contact the Bureau to have a benefit check completed,” he said.

“Many clients have been successful in claiming Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit.”

He also urged those who have elderly friends or relatives to contact the Bureau to arrange a benefit check.

The Bureau operates an appointment system and can be contacted by calling into the Bureau, telephone 028 9266 2251 or by e-mail [email protected] They also have a home visiting service for those who are unable to access Outreach Centres or the main office.