As huge numbers of people are left in debt and councils are millions of pounds out of pocket, an investigation by ITV Tyne Tees and Border has revealed local authorities are chasing-up council tax arrears of £116m.
Debt charities say, despite a council tax freeze in many areas, people don't have the money to pay up. Matt Hartley is from the Consumer Credit Counselling service.
An investigation by ITV Tyne Tees and Border has used Freedom of Information requests to reveal local authorities across our region are chasing-up council tax arrears of £116m.
Watch Kenny Toal's investigation here:
Tracy McDonald from Carlisle got into financial difficulties and was in arrears with her council tax. She is now getting help. She explained to ITV Border how easy it was to get into debt and how eventually the charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) helped her.
An investigation by ITV Border has revealed how councils are racking up huge amounts of council tax arrears as more people struggle to pay the bills.
Freedom of information requests to almost every council in the region asking how much outstanding council tax they are chasing highlight the scale of the problem.
The total amount outstanding from the councils who responded to our FOI requests is just over £116 million pounds.
A third of that total is from the last financial year. It comes as organisations who help people with debt have reported a huge rise in the number of people needing help.