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Personal insolvency figures released for 2014

The insolvency service has recently published individual insolvency figures by location, age and gender for 2014.

This is the first time the individual insolvency rate per 10,000 adults has been higher for females (22.2) than males (21.2), coming largely from a higher number of women than men having Debt Relief Orders (DRO) approved.  DROs were introduced in 2009 to help deal with low value debts, and according to R3, the insolvency body, they have “for the first time, led to more women than men entering a formal insolvency process”.

Changes to the insolvency regime mean it’s easier to deal with consumer debts and, in particular, low value debts.  It may be that women are less likely to stick their head in the sand about debt problems; or it could be that low value or consumer debts have a bigger impact on women’s finances than men.

In all the age ranges, except for the oldest age range of 55 and over, the same can be seen with more women than men in some sort of personal insolvency procedure. The changing profile of the typical insolvent debtor comes about at a time when the overall number of people entering into formal personal insolvency by way of bankruptcy, Debt Relief Orders (DRO’s) or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA’s) is falling across England and Wales.

The insolvency service statistics showed that the rate of total individual insolvencies declined to 21.8 per 10,000 adult population in 2014. This followed a general trend of decline since 2009, after rocketing from 7.2 to 30.9 in the previous nine years.  Insolvency rates for all age groups have decreased, except the 18-24 age group.

The areas with the highest insolvency rates were concentrated in seaside resorts, parts of the North East, South West and Merseyside.  The lowest insolvency rates were seen in London.

Posted on July 17, 2015

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