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Personal insolvencies on the increase

Written by: Emma Lunn
Government data shows the rolling 12-month insolvency figures continues to rise.

Figures from the Insolvency Service for Q2 2019 show 30,936 people entered insolvency proceedings in the three months to June.

Broken down, this equates to 4,228 people being made bankrupt, 19,956 taking out an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), and 6,752 the subject of a debt relief order (DRO). The figures represent the highest Q2 figures since 2010.

The figures also show that one in 382 adults entered a personal insolvency procedure in the rolling 12 months to the end of Q2, a higher ratio than the one in 388 adults in the rolling 12 months to the end of Q1.

Alec Pillmoor, personal insolvency partner at tax firm RSM, said: “’As we predicted, following the near-decade long highs of 2018 and Q1 of 2019, personal insolvency numbers remain high and remain comparable to the first quarter of 2019, resulting in an increase in the rolling 12-month insolvency rate.

“With near full employment and low interest rates, you would expect personal insolvency rates to fall, but in fact, insolvency levels have risen by 7.2 per cent when compared with the same quarter last year. This suggests that many people continue to be over-optimistic when it comes to estimating their ability to meet repayment demands as they fall due.”

RSM research shows that there is a rise in personal insolvencies among young adults. In 2016, insolvencies among under-25s accounted for 1per cent of the total – but this figure has now risen to about 6.5 per cent today.

Pillmoor said: “In this climate of low interest rates and relatively easy access to credit, it is entirely feasible that young people without financial experience or literacy may be more susceptible to the temptations of easy money.

“Furthermore, debt charities have also raised concerns about the rise in sub-prime credit cards being targeted at those with low credit scores. These can have relatively high APRs when compared to other short-term credit alternatives and serve to further the plight of those with limited understanding of how easy it is to rack up unsustainable debt.”

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