Figures from the Insolvency Service released in July have revealed that in 2014, for the first time, female insolvency rates have overtaken male insolvency.
Analysis of the statistics shows the main reason for this is that a higher proportion of women than men have taken out a form of insolvency called a Debt Relief Order (DRO). These are often linked to consumer debt problems and allow people who don’t own a home and have debts under £15,000 to write them off after a year.
The research also showed that women are now more likely than men to go insolvent across most age groups – 18 to 24 years old, 25 to 34 years old, 35 to 44 years old and 45 to 54 years old. However, the insolvency rate is still higher for men than women in the 55 to 64 and 65-plus age groups.
Gavin Bates, Director of PBC Business Recovery and Insolvency, said: “While it is always difficult to categorise people, in my experience I have found that women have historically often taken longer to seek advice about financial difficulties. They find the process of personal insolvency highly emotional, with concerns about the impact on any dependent children and the like. The introduction of DROs in 2009 has perhaps been a factor in reversing this trend and has encouraged women to tackle their debts at an earlier stage than men.”