Debt Barometer 1st half-year 2011

In the first half year 2011 the number of private insolvencies in Germany minimally dropped by 0.9 per cent to 68,818 cases. “The number of private insolvencies is currently ranging at the nearly record high of the previous year”, outlines Dr. Norbert Sellin, Managing Director of the commercial report agency Bürgel in Hamburg, in the current Bürgel survey “Debt Barometer 1st half-year 2011”. In spite of decreasing unemployment figures, a reversal of trend is not in sight.

While employees in low-wage sectors and young people between 18 and 25 years had belonged to the high-risk group up to now, more and more older citizens have been experiencing financial distress since 2011. The share of debtors within the age group exceeding 60 years has increased by 8.9 per cent in comparison with the first half-year 2010.

The share of 18-25 year olds increased by 2.5 per cent in comparison with the first half-year of the previous year – compared with the reference period 2009 even by 51.3 per cent. Corresponding to these developments Bürgel expects a continuously high number of cases at the record high of 2010 and 138,000 to 140,000 private insolvencies Germany-wide.

Private Insolvencies in Germany

In four federal states the case figures increased – in Hamburg even a two-digit growth by 15.5 per cent was recorded. But also in Thuringia (plus 7.4 per cent), North Rhine-Westphalia (plus 6.6 per cent) and Berlin (plus 5.5 per cent) the situation remains strained. The largest drop by minus 8.1 per cent was noted in Saxony, followed by Baden-Wuertemberg (minus 7.8 per cent) and Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania (minus 5.1 per cent).

Percentaged Changes in Private Insolvencies

In almost all age groups private insolvencies seem to be a male phenomenon. 58.2 per cent of all private insolvencies in the first half-year 2011 concerned men. In the age group of 36 to 45 year-olds the share of men even amounts to 61.2 per cent.

Exception: In the group of young adults between 18 to 25 years of age female debtors with a share of 55.3 per cent dominate – especially due to the risk group of single mothers.

The main causes for private insolvencies still are unemployment, permanent low income, failed self-employment, separation and divorce. In addition, lacking financial experience, unsuitable consumption behavior and decline of income or low reserves contribute to citizens’ overindebtedness. Especially low-income households living from low wages or aid money, are quickly financially put under enormous pressure if costs rise.


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