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Bankruptcy Statistics

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Bankruptcy StatisticsDuring quarter two 2017 approximately 3,700 people went bankrupt in England & Wales. This was almost exactly the same number as in the same quarter 2016.

  • Bankruptcy statistics table
  • Number of Bankrupties remains steady
  • DRO volumes fall 9% year on year

Overall just over 46,600 people declared themselves formally insolvent in England & Wales during the first 6 months of 2017. This was the highest number since the equivalent period in 2014.

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Bankruptcy Statistics Table

 Qtr 1 Qtr 2 Qtr 3 Qtr 4 Total Grand
Total
 2017 4,083
 6,119
3,713
6,146
 7,796
 12,265
 20,061
 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

The number of people who went Bankrupt in England and Wales fell 9% in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first. As such the overall number in the first 6 months of the year is largely similar to the same period in 2016.

The current trend suggests that broadly the same number of people will go bankrupt in 2017 as did the year before. However as households continue to face a financial squeeze from higher inflation and lower wage growth this could yet change.

The number of people chosing to use a debt solution such as bankruptcy tends to lag behind a period of economic downturn. This was seen after the 2008/09 recession where personal insolvency numbers did not peak until 2010.

DRO Volumes fall 9% year on year

The number of people starting a Debt Relief Order (DRO) in the second quarter of 2017 remained very similar to the number in the first. As a result the overall number using this solution has fallen 9% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2016.

This is strange given that the number of people going bankrupt has remained steady. A possible reason for this is that since the application process moved on line it has become easier for people to go bankrupt.

As such despite the higher costs it may be that more people are chosing the ease of bankruptcy over the more arduous DRO application process where an Approved Intermediary must be involved.

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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