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Ordinary families are in danger of being left behind as the economy returns to growth, a leading North West insolvency practitioner has warned.

It comes as official figures release today show the number of personal insolvencies has risen for the second quarter in a row to reach 26,030.

Jeremy Oddie, who is North West chair of insolvency trade body R3, says the rise reflects the struggle ordinary families face to make ends meet given the rising cost of living and static income levels.

Today’s figures show that, while overall personal insolvencies were down by 7.3 per cent on the same period a year ago, the numbers have started to rise again, driven largely by a boom in IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements), which are now at their second highest level in the past decade.

Mr Oddie, who is also head of recoveries at accountants Mitchell Charlesworth, said: “Insolvencies appear to be on the rise and the problem may be worse than the official figures suggest as many people are in unofficial debt management plans.

“The problem is that food and fuel prices have been rising while incomes have stalled, or are in some cases going down. R3’s own research has found that the rising cost of living has been a major concern over the past year for those that struggle to payday. The growing number of payday loan and pawnshops in town centres throughout the North West illustrates that people are finding it hard to make it from one month to the next.

“Although the economy is returning to growth, the risk is that many ordinary people may be left behind.”