Debtors ‘jumping before they are pushed’

Following statistics released by the Ministry of Justice, an expert has been commenting on the rise of Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) and self-petitioned bankruptcies.

Between the first and second quarters of 2008, IVA have risen seven per cent in England and Wales, to 9,410.

Meanwhile, 13,754 people declared themselves bankrupt – rather than creditors taking bankruptcy action against them – an increase of four per cent.

Speaking to Plymouth newspaper the Herald, KPMG’s director of personal insolvency John Bangham said these 23,164 people – 90 per cent of the insolvency total – chose “to ‘jump before they were pushed'”.

He indicated the figures will continue to rise along with mortgage rates and everyday spending costs. The credit crunch – which has meant mortgages and unsecured loans are difficult to find – is to blame, he suggested.

In Plymouth, bankruptcy levels rose by 15 per cent on the first quarter, the firm said. Last weekend the city held Flavour Fest, a food and drinks event as part of its Plymouth Summer Festival.

By Morwenna Kearns

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