The number of people becoming insolvent has fallen in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest figures.
Insolvency Service statistics published on 29 April showed that the total number of individual insolvencies fell by 0.3 per cent in January to March 2014 compared to the same quarter in 2013.
A breakdown of the figures for the first quarter of 2014 showed that bankruptcies fell by 15 per cent on the same quarter of 2013 and debt relief orders decreased by 9.3 per cent.
But the number of individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) increased by 14.3 per cent, with IVAs now making up more than half (51 per cent) of all individual insolvencies. IVAs are agreements with creditors to pay all or part of the debts involved – usually totalling at least £15,000 – over a period of time.
Over the 12 months ending March 2014, one in 444 adults – less than 0.25 per cent of the adult population – became insolvent, compared with one in 421 in the 12 months ending March 2013.
However, the 24,931 individual insolvencies in England and Walesin the first quarter of 2014 was significantly up on the total of 24,282 in the last quarter of 2013.
Palmers’ insolvency specialist Andrew Skinner said: “Anyone facing financial difficulties needs to seek professional advice at as early a stage as possible, which can give them a wider range of options for dealing with a debt or insolvency issue.
“Our team can provide expert advice on all types of individual insolvency situations including individual IVAs.”