The former Eastenders star, Joe Swash was unsuccessful in his attempt to clear a £120,000 debt to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs within a given time limit and as a result has been declared bankrupt. He could not keep to the repayment schedule proposed by the courts and had an outstanding debt of £20,000 by the imposed deadline. It has been claimed by Swash’s management that there are no other creditors named in the petition. However, the contributing factors responsible for the insolvency petition are not entirely clear so the suitability of filing for bankruptcy as a debt solution in these circumstances is also open for debate.

After being fired from BBC One soap Eastenders in 2006, Swash signed up for ITV’s show “I’m A Celebrity… Get me out of here!” and went on to win the competition. A period of success followed, with a few television appearances and a contract with Living TV to appear opposite Pamela Anderson. However, this rekindled fame failed to save Swash from the taxman after his apparent “oversight”. Yet, was Swash right to go for Bankruptcy as his debt solution of choice? His assets have now been seized by the Official Receiver as a result of a bankruptcy order from the High Court of Justice in London. Many individuals facing mounting debt view bankruptcy as a last resort. When facing truly unmanageable debts, there are often other debt solutions, like the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or a Protected Trust Deed, which can be more favourable to people in financial difficulty. First of all, other debt solutions can be kept out of the press. Bankruptcy is a matter of public record and is published in your local paper. Thus, the stigma of an insolvency declaration, such as that currently surrounding Joe Swash, can be avoided.

For example, the extensive tabloid coverage of former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes’ bankruptcy was looked upon significantly less favourably than ex-Men Behaving Badly actor Neil Morrissey’s decision to tackle his mounting debt with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. Although the widespread employment of debt solutions and the current financial climate have resulted in far more common tales of debt woe, there is still an unhealthy stigma surrounding debt management, solutions and even a desire to seek out arrears advice and the wider subject of debt help. Essentially, taking quick action in addressing your debt is the most important thing to do. There isn’t a quick fix for mounting debt and there is no solution that will be ideal for everyone. Take the free, 15 second debt wizard at Harrington Brooks for a valuable insight into the right debt solution for your financial circumstances.