During 1st half-year of 2009 a total of 61,517 German citizens filed for private insolvency – during the 2nd quarter alone there were 31,026 cases – meaning an increase by 1.75 percent in comparison with the previous quarter.
South-North Incline in Private Insolvencies
The number of private bankruptcies also differs greatly during the 1st half-year 2009 from one Federal Land to another. On average throughout the country 75 private insolvencies were recorded per 100,000 head of population during the 1st half-year.
In Bremen consumers appeared most frequently before the Insolvency Court with 139 insolvencies per 100,000 head of population. Next to Bremen also the Federal Laender Lower Saxony (109 per 100,000 head of population), Schleswig-Holstein (108 per 100,000 head of population), Saarland (101 per 100,000 head of population) and Hamburg (99 per 100,000 head of population) reported more private insolvencies than on average.
The least consumer insolvencies during 1st half-year 2009 were in Thuringia with 45 bankruptcies per 100,000 head of population. The news was also good for consumers in Bavaria with 58 cases per 100,000 head of population.
Saxony-Anhalt with the Strongest Increase Compared with Previous Quarters
A comparison of the absolute figures from the first two quarters of 2009 (1st quarter 2009: 30,491; 2nd quarter 2009: 31,026) shows the following picture: In Saarland the number of private insolvencies rose most strongly from 457 to 592 with an increase of 29.54 percent. Saxony-Anhalt (plus 22.05 percent; 1st quarter 2009: 1,025; 2nd quarter: 1,251) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (plus 10.41 percent; 1st quarter 2009: 615; 2nd quarter 2009: 679) also register a two-figure percentage increase.
Also in Thuringia (plus 8.47 percent; 1st quarter 2009: 492; 2nd quarter 2009: 535) and in Berlin (plus 6.98 percent; 1st quarter 2009: 1,174; 2nd quarter 2009: 1,256) the rise in private bankruptcies is relatively severe in comparison with the federal average (plus 1.75 percent). The strongest decrease in private insolvencies in comparison with 1st quarter of the year can be seen in Hamburg with a decline of 6.54 percent (1st quarter 2009: 902; 2nd quarter 2009: 843), followed by Schleswig-Holstein (minus 5.16 percent; 1st quarter 1,571; 2nd quarter 2009: 1,490). Also in Brandenburg (minus 4.56 percent; 1st quarter 2009: 1,228; 2nd quarter 2009: 1,172) and Bremen (minus 4.03 percent; 1st quarter 2009: 471; 2nd quarter 2009: 452) less private insolvencies were reported in comparison with the previous quarter.
Older Men and Younger Women at Risk
58.5 percent (36,008) of all private insolvencies during 1st half-year 2009 were applied for by male federal citizens. The trend that men are affected more frequently by private bankruptcy, applies to all age-groups with just one exception: In the case of the under 25-year-olds, the proportion of women at 55.3 percent (1,636) is higher than the proportion of insolvent men (1,325).
The greatest difference between men and women is apparent in the age-group of the over 60-year-olds – here the proportion of insolvent men is 62.1 percent.
Increasingly Greater Risk for Younger Germans
The age-group of the 46- to 60-year-olds and the age-group of 36- to 45-year-olds (32.22 percent/19,818) is worst hit by private insolvency with 32.48 percent (19,982).
Only 8 percent of the insolvent citizens of the Federal Republic is older than 60 years. This lies on the one hand on the fact that older people are more experienced in dealing with money and are able to invest more savings. On the other hand the running cost of living is often lower: loans have usually been paid off and the children have left home.
In the course of the last quarters more and more young people file for private insolvency. With reference to the 2nd quarter 2009 the age-group of 36 to 45 year-olds is the group most severely hit by private insolvency with 32.60 percent. In the youngest age-group of 18- to 25-year-olds, upon comparison of the first two quarters a rise in private insolvencies can be observed of 28 percent (1st quarter: 1299; 2nd quarter: 1622). And only in the age-group of the 46- to 60-year-olds is the share of private insolvencies on the decline (minus 6.9 percent).
Decline in the Number of Affidavits and Arrest Warrants – Men More Severely Affected
A slightly more positive picture is given where the early indicators – the affidavits and arrest warrants – are observed. The number of affidavits is on the decline in comparison with the first two quarters of the year. The number fell from 151,704 affidavits during the first quarter to 142,729 during the second quarter, a decrease of just below 8 percent.
The most affidavits per 100,000 head of population was registered in Berlin with 625 cases. Also above the federal average of 358 affidavits are the federal states Bremen (573), Saarland (465) and Hamburg (462). The lowest number of affidavits during the 1st half-year 2009 with 223 per 100,000 head of population were in Baden-Württemberg. Also Saxony with 271 and Bavaria with 273 affidavits 100,000 head of population represent a good figure. Just under 65 percent of all affidavits are made by men.
During the 1st half-year 2009 a total of 212,818 arrest warrants were issued.
In comparison with the 1st quarter (108,414) the number of arrest warrants during the 2nd quarter fell by 3.7 percent to 104,404.
On average during the 1st half-year 2009 in Germany 259 arrest warrants were registered per 100,000 head of population. In first place is Berlin with 436 arrest warrants. Behind this lies Bremen with 354, North Rhine-Westphalia with 322 and Hamburg with 313 arrest warrants per 100,000 head of population. The lowest figures were registered in Schleswig-Holstein (155 arrest warrants per 100,000 head of population), Saxony (160) and Thuringia (178). Just below 70 percent of all arrest warrants during the 1st half-year 2009 affect male citizens.
The Forecast is Confirmed
n comparison with the 1st quarter (30,491) consumer insolvencies rose during 2nd quarter 2009 (31,026) by 1.75 percent. Altogether the figure has now reached 61,517 private bankruptcies. This means that the trend over many years has been crushed. This rise confirms the forecast by the financial information agency Bürgel that an increase in the number of private insolvencies to as many as 140,000 cases can be expected. In particular the trend towards private insolvencies among young people is giving cause for alarm.
The fact that younger people are more severely hit by the current crisis is also confirmed by a current evaluation by the Federal Employment Agency. The unemployment figures among the under-25s rose by three times as much as the general joblessness.
Provisional liquidity bottlenecks and running deferred payment loans are still the main reasons for private debt. According to Bürgel, one other reason for the forecast rise in private insolvencies is therefore the fact that it has become considerably more difficult to procure new loans from banks. There are now much stricter conditions regarding securities than in previous years.
Apart from this, the typical causes for private insolvency remain: changes in one’s personal environment due to separation, divorce or the death of a partner, illness, accidents and the failure of self-employment. If liabilities mount up or unemployment occurs in addition to this, consumers quickly fall into financial distress situations. Then filing for consumer insolvency is often the only alternative left open to them.