According to a recent report, personal insolvency rates peaked in seaside resorts last year, with Merseyside and the coastal areas of the North East faring worst. The Insolvency Service found that insolvency rates were concentrated in these areas and the South West.
In addition, the annual report on individual insolvencies by location, age and gender, showed that the insolvency rate for females was higher than that for males for the first time ever. This was mainly due to a higher proportion of women opting for Debt Relief Orders (DROs). Meanwhile, across both sexes, insolvency rates were highest in the 35 to 44-age bracket.
However, taking in the overall picture, the number of personal insolvencies in England and Wales is falling steadily, from 30.9 per thousand people in 2009 to 21.8 in 2014. According to the report, this is mainly because of the rapid increase and subsequent decline in bankruptcies over the same period and a sharp increase in DROs. There was also a rapid rise in Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) between 2006 and 2009.
The report found that the North East had the highest proportion of individual insolvencies per 10,000 adults last year, at 29.2 and has topped the list for bankruptcies, IVAs and DROs since 2008.
However, Stoke-on-Trent had the highest rate of new insolvency cases last year, at 834, followed by Kingston upon Hull at 803. Torbay in Devon was third, with a total of 458 new cases being reported last year. Meanwhile, London had the lowest rate of any form of insolvency in 2014.