Consumers Most Indebted for Use of Utility Services

Consumers Most Indebted for Use of Utility Services

The most serious indebtedness of Bulgarians is towards heat utility companies - debtors are 5.8 per cent - and towards water and sewerage utility companies - 5.3 per cent. The share of electricity debtors is 3.3 per cent, and that of telephone service debtors is 1.6 per cent, shows a survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology and the Economic Institute with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The survey was carried out between June 8 and 18 among 1,000 respondents.

Besides the debts incurred from using utility services, the survey shows that 8.1 per cent of Bulgarians owe overdue taxes, 3.2 per cent owe overdue social security contributions, and 5.3 per cent owe overdue health insurance contributions.

A third type of debts is related to the repayment of short and long term bank loans (2.9 per cent) and hire-purchase loans (0.5-1 per cent). Some 29.7 per cent of respondents use various types of credits, 5 per cent use only loans, and another 4.2 per cent use both credits and loans. Some 80.5 per cent of the households covered by the survey were repaying consumer credits, 19.7 per cent were using credit cards, 12.3 per cent were using mortgage credits, and 15 per cent were using hire-purchase loans.

Most of the credits used by households in Bulgaria are denominated in leva. The practice of using credits was most widespread in 2006-2008. Some 67 per cent of credits and 87 per cent of loans are used on necessities of life, including housing maintenance, the survey shows. Only 7 per cent of credits and 5.07 per cent of loans are used to develop business and are related to entrepreneurial activity.

With most of the households (59.1 per cent), the use of credits has led to a worsening of their general financial status. Some 31.1 per cent feel that no significant changes of the financial status of the family has occurred due to the use of credits, and 1.6 per cent state that an improvement has occurred. Some 2.9 per cent of credit debtors are in a situation of insolvency, the survey shows.

The share of credit debtors who have problems repaying their credits to banks is 15.9 per cent.

Source: BTA

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