Bankruptcy – The Story So Far!
Back in the last quarter of 2008 we reported that 29,444 people in England and Wales had declared bankruptcy which was an 18.5% increase for the same period in 2007. About 2/3rds of these people some 19,100 declared themselves bankrupt during this period; this is a record number of bankruptcies. The remaining 10,344 were individual voluntary arrangements or IVA’s. Other figures released in 2008 were that 4,607 companies had been declared insolvent during the last quarter of 2008; these figures are up by 51.6% compared to the previous year.
Wind forward four years to the third quarter of 2012 and the number of individual insolvencies for England and Wales is currently 28,062 which is a decrease of 7.2% on the same period a year ago. The number of bankruptcy petitions is down from four years ago and for the third quarter of this year stands at 7.617 which is down by 20.5% on the previous year. The number of company insolvency for the third quarter of this year stands at 3,971 which is down by 2.8% on the same period for the previous year
This is good news that the number of people declaring insolvency and bankruptcy in particular is down from its peak four years ago, but there is still to many people declaring insolvency. In this article we look at what bankruptcy is and what are the alternatives are.
What is Bankruptcy?
This involves being declared bankrupt by a law court for a period of 12 months, you are not allowed a bank account, and you could find yourself paying your creditors for the next three years before the full debt is written off. Your bankruptcy will remain on your credit file for the follow 6 years and some lenders in the future may still penalise you for many more years. You will be able to keep most of your household goods, your car for work as long as it costs around the £1,500 and you will lose your home and any equity in your home.
What is the alternative to bankruptcy?
The alternative to a bankruptcy is an individual voluntary arrangements or IVA’s. An IVA is a legally binding agreement between a person who is struggling to pay their unsecured debts and their creditors or the companies that they owe money to. You need to employ the services of an IVA practitioner who will then access your finances and calls a meeting with all your creditors to obtain a majority agreement from them for you to proceed. IVA is made up of payments from your income for a period of around five years. The money is collected and distributed each month to your creditors by an IVA practitioner.
Is Bankruptcy the right solution?
Bankruptcy could be the right solution if you have little to lose, you cannot afford to pay back your debts, you live in rented accommodation, possibly not paid a very high salary and you don’t have lots of very valuable assets. Then bankruptcy is a way of getting out of debt. The alternative solution is an individual voluntary arrangements or IVA which is a legally binding agreement with your creditors where they get some of the money back. There is little difference between Bankruptcy and an IVA by creditors in the future. Both are considered as insolvencies by creditors and your credit rating will be affected for the next 6 years.
If your debts are getting out of control then you should always seek independent advice from any of the following; the Citizens Advice Bureau or one of charities that have been set up to help people who are struggling with their debts. They will give you the correct advice as to what will suit you best. Finally, there is life after a bankruptcy or an IVA and it is possible to rebuild your life without debt. Your thoughts, experiences and comments are welcome. You can join this discussion below and leave your thoughts and experiences.