Adam Markillie of Leicester Money Advice knows only too well the implications of financial difficulties. He was declared bankrupt in 1992. Now, with recession looming over the economy, he uses his experiences to help people in a similar situation.
When Adam Markillie advises people with financial difficulties he knows what he is talking about. As a discharged bankrupt, he understands the miseries of living with debt from the inside.
His story, he says, is not uncommon. "I had agreed with a friend to act as a guarantor for a £7000 car.
"The friend, no longer a friend, decided not to pay... At that particular time it might as well have been £77,000 because I simply couldn't afford to pay it.
"I was very fortunate in that I was able to go to Money Advice and they were able to help me out of an extremely dark corner and put me back on track."
Listen: Adam Markillie on Bankruptcy
BBC Leicester's Tony Wadsworth spoke to Adam Markillie...
"Bankruptcy was the only option and that advice was only given after a court hearing... At the time I felt mortified and I was appalled that I found myself in such a situation.
"Once I'd done it [applied for bankruptcy] I was offered all sorts of advice and assistance on budgeting and money management.
Mind how you go...
"And I said one day I'd go back to Money Advice and thank them for the help they's given me."
Adam is adamant that bankruptcy is not an easy option:
"You still have to pay... It remains on your file for three years and the official receiver can take from you your disposable income to go towards your debts."
He reckons that this acts as a valuable discipline. It imposes budgetary training.
But how do people find themselves in financial difficulty?
"Debt and how to manage it should be taught in school... 94% to 95% of those I see at Money Advice find themselves in the situation because of circumstances. A death, an accident, ill health, the loss of a job and so on."
But if you do find yourself in difficulties the golden rule is seek advice.
last updated: 11/07/2008 at 16:19