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Bankruptcy Statistics

Bankruptcy StatisticsDuring Q3 2017 approximately 3,700 people went bankrupt in England & Wales. This was almost exactly the same number as in the previous quarter.

  • Bankruptcy statistics table
  • Number of Bankrupties remains steady
  • DRO volumes fall 10% year on year

Overall the number of people who have gone bankrupt in the first 3 quarters of 2017 has fallen slightly compared to 2016. The number of people starting Debt Relief Orders (DRO) has reduced by 10%

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Bankruptcy Statistics Table

 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Total Grand
Total
 2017 4,083
 6,119
3,721
6,146
3,720
6,274
 11,524
 18,539
 30,063
 2016 3,775
 6,722
 3,709
 6,741
 3,936
 6,490
 3,624
 6,243
 15,044
 26,196
 41,240
 2015 4,404
 6,213
 3,975
 5,832
 3,896
 5,629
 3,570
 6,501
 15,845
 24,175
 40,020
 2014 5,681
 6,549
 5,475
 7,006
 4,907
 6,808
 4,282
 6,325
 20,345
 26,688
 47,033
 2013 6,673
 7,219
 6,480
 7,132
 6,009
 6,632
 5,409
 6,563
 24,571
 27,546
 52,117
 2012 9,132
 7,897
 8,092
 7,956
 7,642
 7,777
 6,921
 7,549
 31,787
 31,179
 62,966
 2011 12,539
 6,788
 11,101
 7,258
 9,578
 7,604
 8,658
 7,359
 41,876
 29,009
 70,885
 2010 18,256
 5,644
 14,982
 6,295
 13,907
 7,068
 12,028
 6,172
 59,173
 25,179
 84,352
 2009 20,446 18,870
 1,978
 18,347
 4,505
 17,007
 5,348
 74,670
 11,831
 86,501

Source: The Insolvency Service Official Statistics (Not Seasonally Adjusted)
Note: Figures in red are Debt Relief Orders

Number of Bankruptcies remains steady

Almost the same number of people went Bankrupt in England and Wales between January and September 2017 (30,063) as the same period last year (31,373). Infact a small reduction of around 4%.

This trend suggests that despite the continued financial squeeze on people from higher inflation and lower wage growth a similar number will go bankrupt in 2017 as did in 2016.

On the face of it this is certainly good news. However the number of people choosing to use a debt solution such as bankruptcy tends to lag behind a period of economic downturn. As such the numbers may start to creep up into 2018.

The number of people starting an IVA has increased by nearly 21% compared to the first three quarters in 2016

DRO Volumes fall 10% year on year

The number of people starting a DRO has reduced by 10% over the first three quarters of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. This seems strange given that the number of people going bankrupt has remained relatively steady.

A possible reason is that since the application process for bankruptcy moved online it has become much easier for people to go bankrupt than start a DRO despite the higher cost.

The application process to start a DRO is much more arduous as an Approved Intermediary must be involved. As such it is possible more people are choosing to go bankrupt rather than use a DRO.

Anecdotal evidence suggests Approved Intermediaries often warn people off the DRO solution suggesting instead that they should repay their debts using a Debt Management Plan.

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