Statistics released by the Insolvency Service show there were fewer personal insolvencies in England and Wales in 2014 than in any year since 2005.
There were a total of 99,196 personal insolvencies in 2014, 1.8% down year-on-year, and representing the fourth year of successive annual decreases.
Bankruptcies in particular reached their lowest level of incidence since 1998, at 20,318 over the year, and were down 17.3% year-on-year.
While the introduction of debt relief orders (DROs) in 2009 has likely exerted a downward pressure on bankruptcy numbers, it is worth noting that 2014 also saw DRO numbers decrease for the second year in a row, falling 3.1% year-on-year to reach 26,688.
While bankruptcies and DROs were down, however, IVAs reached their highest level of incidence since they were introduced in 1987.
There were 52,190 IVAs in 2014, a figure up 6.8% year-on-year, and comprising 53% of all personal insolvencies in the year, compared with just 30% in 2005.
February’s edition of Credit Today will examine reactions to 2014’s personal insolvency statistics from charities, practitioners and debt management providers, as well as taking an in-depth look at potential changes to creditor petitions.
By Fred Crawley