Another hectic year for CAB

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Peterhead’s Citizens Advice Bureau has had another hectic financial year in its money advice department.

With the brunt of the latest recession taking its toll on individuals, people have been getting advice on how to manage debts, improve personal financial situations and how to maximise income.

The money advice department is the busiest unit at Peterhead’s CAB, and during the period of April 2009 to March 2010 the department took on 271 new debt cases, with a total of £4,135,160.55 debt outstanding.

At the moment, the department has a total of 1,103 cases on record, and although some of these may be archived they can be retrieved at any time should a client need further assistance.

At the money department individuals are carefully assessed and are given a range of possible options to help solve their money problems. Benefits checks are also carried out by the CAB to ensure people are receiving the maximum income possible.

Money advice workers can also negotiate with the creditors on behalf of the clients, which helps take some of the stress away from individuals going through financial problems.

Bankruptcy is also an option which may suit many clients depending on their individual situation. Between April 2009 and March 2010 the department assisted 79 clients with bankruptcies vie the Low Income Low Asset route.

That option is available to clients who are in receipt of benefit or on a low wage and have no single asset, including money, worth more than £1000 and no total assets worth more than £10,000.

CAB manager Jacqui Bruce said: “We’ve had a very busy recent financial year here at the bureau, especially in the money advice department. Although we’ve always been busy, this year has seen us with yet again a steady flow of clients.

“I think 2011 could be a tough year for the bureau in terms of finances and clients but I hope that we can keep up the same level of quality service.”

The bureau is always looking for volunteers to join its service.

People interested are given full training and are expected to work approximately five hours a week. For more information or an application form you can pop in to the CAB located on Marischal Street.