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Some readers may have missed the latest insolvency statistics release. This came out on the 7th February. See here. The figures show that, "There were 3,552 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales in the fourth quarter of 2013 (on a seasonally adjusted basis). This was a decrease of 7.4% on the previous quarter, and 7.1% less than the same quarter in 2012. This was made up of 692 compulsory liquidations (down 26.7% on the previous quarter and down 25.8% on the fourth quarter of 2012), and 2,860 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (which were down 1.1% on the previous quarter and down 1.0% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year). Additionally, there were 1,001 other corporate insolvencies in the fourth quarter of 2013 (not seasonally adjusted) comprising 236 receiverships, 642 administrations and 123 company voluntary arrangements (CVAs). In total these represented a decrease of 0.6% on the same period in 2012."
On the personal side it is noted that, "There were 24,282 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was a decrease of 4.6% on the same period in 2012. This was made up of 5,386 bankruptcies (which were down 22.2% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year), 6,563 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) (down 13.1% over the same period) and 12,333 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) (up 12.3% over the same period). Bankruptcy numbers have been impacted by the introduction of DROs from April 2009, amongst other factors. The number of DROs has been higher than total bankruptcies for six consecutive quarters, while Bankruptcy Orders have been lower than IVAs for the last 11 quarters. IVAs now make up more than half (51%) of all individual insolvencies. The accompanying detailed tables include seasonally adjusted series for bankruptcy orders and IVAs. The series for DROs is not currently long enough to formally seasonally adjust. There were 101,049 individual insolvencies in the calendar year 2013 in England and Wales, a decrease of 7.9% from 2012. This included 24,536 bankruptcies (down 22.8% on 2012), 27,546 Debt Relief Orders (DROs) (down 11.7% on 2012) and 48,967 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) (up 4.9% on 2012). This is the first year in which the number of DROs has been higher than total bankruptcies and the third year where the number of bankruptcies has been lower than IVAs. In the fourth quarter of 2013, 4,179 bankruptcies were made on the petition of the debtor (representing 77.6% of total cases); the level of debtor petition bankruptcies has been following a generally decreasing trend since the beginning of 2009 when there were 17,606 (86% of the total). Creditor petition bankruptcy numbers have also been falling over a similar period, though less rapidly and less consistently. The percentage of bankruptcy orders where the individuals were self-employed was 24.4% in the third quarter of 2013 (fourth quarter 2013 figures for self-employed bankrupts are not yet available); higher than in earlier years. This is due to the decline in numbers of cases amongst non-traders."
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...