Figures revealing a drop in insolvencies are a very welcome sign, says one of the UK’s No.1 IVA provider.
Figures from the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) showed that in the first three months of the new 2011/2012 personal insolvencies had dropped by 1% over the same period in the last financial year, a clear sign that people are getting to grips with their debts before they reach a critical point of no return.
Reasons for this are varied, but it is likely that some of the decrease is due to the rise in the number of Debt Payment Programmes set up through the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) and Debt Relief Order (DRO), which has increased by 30% since the same time last year.
A spokesperson for IVAonline.co.uk, one of the UKs leading providers of IVAs, said: “Any sign that the rate of insolvencies is slowing is very welcome, as is the corresponding rise in the use of the Debt Arrangement Scheme. More people are realising they are in trouble before they are forced to declare insolvency and have enough time to set up a Debt Payment Programme to sort out their debt.”
However, IVAonline.co.uk believes that sometimes the path to becoming debt-free can be hard to see when faced with debt that seems overwhelming.
“There are many steps that can be taken before someone should consider insolvency, but debt has the unpleasant effect of narrowing your vision so much through fear that you cannot see clearly that you have more choices than you think.”
“For anyone in debt the first step to becoming debt-free is to try and rebalance household expenses with income. Look at your household expenses and decide what are necessities and what are luxuries. Sometimes the smallest changes are the ones to have the greatest effect. For example Sky TV and mobile contracts are perhaps the easiest places to start by reducing the packages to lower costing ones. Have a look at how much money is being spent on eating or drinking outside the home – a luxury coffee every day on the way to work could add up to nearly £600 a year.”
“At the same time as trimming household expenses, find ways to increase the household income, either by working overtime or taking a second job in the evenings or weekends. Also make sure you sure you are not entitled to any benefits that you haven’t been claiming.”
If you still can’t make ends meet talk to your lenders. It may be that they are able to help reduce your expenses by freezing interest or changes, perhaps even by giving you a payment holiday for a few months. You never know unless you ask.”