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Bankruptcy and DRO statistics

Bankruptcy and DRO statistics

The number of people who have gone bankrupt each year in England & Wales since 2009 is summarised below. The figures have fallen by almost 50% since 2018.

Included in this article:

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Bankruptcy Statistics Table

  Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Total
20221,815   1,815
20212,8012,3071,8881,7198,715
2020 4,5852,4422,786 2,845 12,658
20194,4694,2354,1783,86016,742
20184,3484,1084,2083,94216,642
20174,0833,7223,7373,565 15,107
20163,7753,7093,9363,624 15,044
20154,4043,975 3,896 3,570 15,845
2014 5,681 5,4754,9074,282 20,345
2013 6,673 6,480 6,0095,409 24,571
20128,1328,0927,642 6,921 31,787
2011 11,965 11,1079,7149,142 41,928
201018,25614,98213,907 12,028 59,173
2009  20,446 18,87018,34717,007 74,670

The total number of bankruptcies in England & Wales since 2009
Source: The Insolvency Service Official Statistics

Debt Relief Order Statistics Table

 Qtr 1Qtr 2Qtr 3Qtr 4Total
20226,629   6,629
20214,1634,3745,735586320,135
20206,9154,8204,4904,24820,473
20196,9466,7966,7886,93727,476
20186,4786,9596,9247,06127,421
20176,1196,1466,2746,35524,894
20166,7226,7416,4906,24326,196
20156,2135,8325,6296,50124,175
20146,5497,0066,8086,32526,688
20137,2197,1326,6326,56327,546
20127,8977,9567,7777,54931,179
20116,7887,2587,6047,35929,009
20105,644 6,2957,0686,17225,179
2009 01,978 4,505 5,348 11,831

The total number of Debt Relief Orders per year in England & Wales since 2009
Source: The Insolvency Service Official Statistics

The difference between bankruptcy and a debt relief order

Both bankruptcy and Debt Relief Order (DRO) are commonly used personal debt solutions in the UK. In one sense they are similar. With both, after 1 year (12 months) your unsecured debt is written off. However they are different in many ways. 

Bankruptcy is available for anyone struggling with unsecured debt. There is no minimum or maximum amount of debt. You can go bankrupt whether you are a home owner or renting. You can be unemployed, retired, or employed

Debt Relief Orders were initially designed to be a cheaper alternative to bankruptcy. The application fee is just £90 compared to £680 for bankruptcy. However, a debt relief order is only available for people who meet certain criteria. For example your debt must not be greater than £30,000 and you can’t be a home owner. 

Bankruptcy could be an ideal debt solution if you have little or no surplus income and can’t afford to pay anything towards your debts each month.

What are the alternative debt solutions?

The most widely used debt solutions in the UK are the IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) and Debt Management Plan (DMP). 

Debt management plans are informal agreements which reduce your monthly debt payments to an affordable amount. You can implement a DMP yourself or with the help of a company. The plan is extremely flexible and assets such as your car and house are not normally at risk. However there is no formal agreement to write off any debt. This means these plans can last for a long time

The IVA is an offer to settle the debt you owe. Normally you pay what you can afford each month over a maximum of 5-6 years. Once the plan is completed, any debt left outstanding is written off. This is a significant advantage over a DMP.

You would normally consider using an IVA rather than going bankrupt if you are a home owner. An IVA protects your property where as it could be at risk if you go bankrupt. However, you must be able to pay the minimum monthly payment.

If you are not a home owner, bankruptcy could be a better solution if you have little or no surplus income. In these circumstances your debts are written off and you do not have to make any more payments towards them at all. 

Trying to to decide which debt solution is right for you? We have 20 years of experience assisting with debt problems. For free, confidential advice, give us a call (0800 044 3194) or complete the form below.

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