Mortgage payment fears for 1 in 7 sparks advice call.
ONE in seven people in the Midlands fear they will not be able to pay their rent or mortgage this month, according to research.
Now debt advisors in the city are urging people starting the New Year struggling to meet payments to seek assistance at the earliest possible time.
The research, based on a YouGov survey of over 4,000 British adults, suggests that millions across the country will be starting the New Year worried about whether they'll be able to keep their home - including one in seven people in the West Midlands.
Staff at Coventry Citizen's Advice Bureau confirmed that the New Year often brings a spike in the number of people struggling with debt.
Daksha Piparia, fund and policy manager at Coventry CAB, said: "Traditionally, just past Christmas in January and early February is when we see a surge in the number of people seeking support maintaining mortgage payments and the other debts we deal with.
"In Coventry, mortgage debt is not in the top five debts people struggle with - but it is a priority.
"The things you must really do something about are mortgage payments or rent, gas and electricity and council tax.
"These are things you must deal with as a priority over anything else. Other debts can be sorted out relatively easily, but if you don't pay your mortgage you could end up without a roof over your head.
"Anyone who is struggling should seek advice from one of the many free advice providers in the city."
Homeless charity Shelter also said the figures were of particular concern and advisors regularly see cases of people putting off asking for help until they reach crisis point.
Liz Clare, a help line adviser, said: "We're now seeing a stream of cases of families who've been unable to cope with mounting rent or mortgage bills and feel at breaking point.
"We all know how difficult it can be to face up to financial problems and we often hear from people who've been avoiding urgent post, but the reality is that not confronting it means things can spiral out of control.
"We hear from people every day who are struggling, so you are not alone. Our message to anyone struggling to pay their rent or mortgage is that we're on your side."
Visit adviceservicescoventry.org.uk or shelter.org.uk/advice.
Geoffrey Robinson MP stands with Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau staff Daksha Piparia, Brian Adams, Charley Gibbons and Joanne Adams