Insolvency experts are warning that the numbers of consumers declaring bankruptcy is set to soar next year, despite the release of figures revealing a fall.
Data from the Insolvency Service showed the number of people becoming insolvent fell by 5 per cent between July and September. Bankruptcies were up 2.2 per cent to 15,833, but there was a drop in Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), which fell to 10,239 – down 14.3 per cent compared with last year.
A record number of people asked to go bankrupt over the last 12 months, official figures showed yesterday – and debt experts have warned that the situation will get worse.
The Ministry of Justice said the total number of self-imposed bankruptcy petitions hit a new high of 54,536 – or nearly 150 a day – during the 12 months to June. From April to June, 13,384 people petitioned for bankruptcy, an increase of five per cent on the same period last year.
Pat Boyden, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “Now the pressure is on with rising interest rates and a slowing housing market.”
He warned that the chaos in the stock markets would make banks more reluctant to allow people to remortgage their homes. “Then people might not be able to borrow their way out of trouble,” he said.
Frances Walker, at the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, said people were shifting their debts from credit cards on to mortgages.
“We are expecting more mortgage repossessions later this year as interest rates start to bite,” she said.
Insolvency figures to be released tomorrow are expected to show a record number of people went bust in the first three months of the year, experts warned today.
Official statistics are likely to show that around 30,000 individuals went bankrupt or took out an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) between January and March.
A rise in IVA rejection rates could, however, have a knock-on effect on bankruptcy figures, with evidence indicating a rise in the number of people being declared bankrupt in the past month.