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As, inter alia, the Financial Times, BBC, Wall Street Journal, the Times, (whose sensationalist title, "Personal insolvency numbers soar to highest since start of the Sixties" seems to forget that we are NOT in the 1960s and that comparisons are virtually meaningless as bankruptcy law now performs a different function to that which it did it 2000, let alone 1961!), the Mirror, ("400 a day go bankrupt" - no wonder the Registrars are so busy!) and the Daily Mail (this article is particularly interesting because of the readers' response comments which indicate an alarming perception of English and Welsh insolvency laws as being a feckless debtors' charter) are reporting, the Insolvency Service have issued the latest insolvency statistics. As the Insolvency Service note, the figures show that there were 35,242 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2009. This was an increase of 28.2% on the same period a year ago. This was made up of 18,347 bankruptcies (which were up 6.4% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year), 12,390 Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), (which were up 20.9% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year) and 4,505 Debt Relief Orders (DROs).
On the corporate side there were 4,716 compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations in total in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2009. This was a decrease of 4.7% on the previous quarter but an increase of 14.6% on the same period a year ago. This was made up of 1,301 compulsory liquidations (which are down 9.8% on the previous quarter and down 12.9% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year), and 3,415 creditors voluntary liquidations (which are down 2.6% on the previous quarter but up 30.2% on the corresponding quarter of the previous year).
Personal insolvency statistics always make interesting reading and these latest figures will add further food for thought for policy makers and others. Meanwhile, the chairwoman of the new All Party Insolvency Insolvency Law Group (APILG), Ms Natascha Engel MP, has been accosted by Sir Nicholas Winterton MP, whilst queuing for a drink in the members' tea room (reports the Mirror - "Tory shame as Sir Nicholas Winterton slaps a Labour MP's bottom"). This is less than chivalrous behaviour from a Knight of the Realm. I am going to the R3 APILG drinks reception on the 18th November at the House of Commons. I will have to watch myself when queuing for any drinks!
"This is the ultimate statement of where the law on IVAs is to be found in our great common law...