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The insolvency statistics for the final quarter of 2011 have been published by the Insolvency Service. The IS note: "There were 4,260 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales in the fourth quarter of 2011 (on a seasonally adjusted basis). This was an increase of 0.4% on the previous quarter and an increase of 7.2% on the same period a year ago. This was made up of 1,389 compulsory liquidations (which are up 14.1% on the previous quarter and up 16.1% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year), and 2,871 creditors’ voluntary liquidations (which are down 5.1% on the previous quarter but up 3.4% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year)."
On the personal side they note: "There were 28,973 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the fourth quarter of 2011. This was a decrease of 5.6% on the same period a year ago.This was made up of 8,626 bankruptcies (which were down 28.3% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year), 13,047 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), (which were up 4.5% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year) and 7,300 Debt Relief Orders (DROs), (which were up 18.3% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year). In April 2011 a change was introduced to Debt Relief Order legislation to allow those who have built up value in a pension scheme to apply for debt relief under these provisions; this will have increased the overall numbers of those eligible to apply for a Debt Relief Order, and is also expected to have had some impact on the numbers of bankruptcy orders. In the fourth quarter of 2011, 6,747 bankruptcies were made on the petition of the debtor (representing 78% of total cases); both the level of debtor petition bankruptcies and their share of total cases have been falling since the beginning of 2009 when there were 17,606 (86% of the total). The percentage of bankruptcy orders involving trading debts (self-employed bankrupts) was 20.7% in the third quarter of 2011 (fourth quarter 2011 figures for trading-related bankruptcies are not yet available); similar to during the first half of 2011, but higher than throughout the previous few years; this is mainly due to the decline in numbers of cases involving consumer debts (non-traders)."
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...