Shocking statistics have revealed that Burnley had the fourth highest rate of bankruptcies per head of population in the country last year.
The figures, collated by the Insolvency Service, revealed that there were 44 new bankruptcy cases in Burnley throughout 2015, or 6.5 per 10,000 in the population.
That final figure put Burnley behind only the Isles of Scilly, the City of London and Torbay in Devon.
Burnley was also recorded as having the highest number of male bankruptcies in the country per head of population. That figure was 8.8 men per 10,000 adults.
David Aston, of Burnley-based insolvency service TH Financial Recovery, urged any individuals experiencing financial problems to seek help immediately before it is too late.
Mr Aston said: “Bankruptcies relate to individuals rather than companies. It would be difficult to say categorically why Burnley had such a high rate last year, but the usual reasons tend to be marriage break-ups, job losses and financial mismanagement.
“Sadly, some of these are unavoidable, but some people do try to live beyond their means. Very often people end up in difficulties without asking for advice.
“They can often see the train coming but it is too late. Bankruptcy can mean losing your home, which is one of the worst case scenarios. There are ways we can help to avoid such cases.”
The news flies in the face of a recent study, which claimed that Burnley was the best place in the country to live to make a living.
That research was based on the price of a monthly travel pass, a cinema ticket, monthly gym membership, and a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant, as well as average mortgage repayments, employment and pay.
Mr Aston, whose company opened its first Burnley office in May, said the bankruptcy figures were a warning that people can still get into difficulties.