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Insolvency numbers remain stubbornly high

Insolvency numbers remain stubbornly high

Category: Debt

Updated: 05/01/2011
First Published: 05/01/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The number of people being declared insolvent fell last year, but still remains stubbornly high.

In 2009, personal insolvency numbers reached their highest level for two decades.

In 2010, despite a slight drop, the number of people entering into formal insolvency procedures remained relatively high.

The Insolvency Service has said that it shows that more needs to be done to encourage people to manage their money better, and where possible, to avoid insolvency.

It is the UK pensioners that are the fastest growing group of bankrupt individuals.

Although levels of bankruptcy among men and women aged over-65 are the lowest, the numbers of bankrupt individuals in this age group have increased six times in a decade and at a 50% faster rate than for other age groups.

Furthermore, while men still make up the majority of people declared bankrupt (60% in 2009), the proportion of female insolvencies is on the rise.

In 2000, just 29% of all bankruptcies were declared for women; by 2009, that figure had risen to 40%.

To help combat high levels of bankruptcy in the UK, The Insolvency Service is running a 'Dealing with your debt' campaign, supported by charity sector partners, Citizens' Advice, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service and the Money Advice Trust.

Its aim is to make people entering into personal insolvency procedure aware that they can access free advice and that the insolvency regime offers them more than just bankruptcy.

"Although personal insolvency levels are no longer rising, they remain stubbornly high, reflecting the high levels of personal debt that persist across the country," Stephen Speed, chief executive of The Insolvency Service said.

"Prevention is much better than cure as far as personal finances are concerned. Review your personal finances frequently and make sure you are not taking on debt that you can't afford to repay.

"If you are getting into trouble, act quickly and seek advice about how to deal with it. There are plenty of sources of advice, many of which are available free of charge.

"If insolvency looms then remember that you have choices."

If you're heavily in debt and feel you're running out of options, the Debt Solutions page could be your first step on the road to recovery.

There you will find links to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Citizen's Advice and the Financial Services Authority.

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