Personal insolvency rates reach highest level for almost three years

Official figures published today by the Insolvency Service show that personal insolvency rates are at their highest level for nearly three years.

In the first quarter of 2017, there were 24,531 individual insolvencies, consisting of 14,539 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), 6,119 debt relief orders (DROs) and 3,873 bankruptcies. This was the highest level since the second quarter of 2014.

Total individual insolvencies in the first quarter of 2017 were 6.7 per cent higher than in the previous quarter and 15.7 per cent higher than the same quarter the previous year.

Commenting on the latest figures, Mark Sands, personal insolvency partner at RSM said:

‘The graph of personal insolvencies shows a definite upward trend since the low point in the second quarter of 2015 and we are now back at the highest level for nearly three years.

‘Employment levels are high, interest rates are at historic lows so you would expect the level of financial distress within households to be relatively low. However, I think we are just beginning to see a change in the wind direction. Many people may have been tempted by attractive loan deals, car finance offers and low fixed-rate mortgages but are now finding that shop price inflation is leaving them with less available cash to meet repayments when they fall due.’

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