Debt Barometer 1st to 3rd quarter of 2011

In the period January to September 2011 the number of private insolvencies in Germany has dropped by 1.5 per cent to 103,118 cases in comparison with the same period of the previous year. “The positive economic development and the improvements in the job market in particular have lead to a slight relaxation of the private insolvency situation”, Dr. Norbert Sellin, Managing Director of the credit information company Bürgel comments. However, especially in view of these positive signals the company in Hamburg expected less private insolvencies than actually recorded. This is the résumé of the current “Debt Barometer 1st to 3rd quarter of 2011” by Bürgel. For the total year of 2011 the credit information company assumes that the number of cases will fall below the number of the record year 2010 and forecasts 137,000 to 139,000 private insolvencies by the end of the year.
In the first nine months of the current year the following developments are particularly striking: firstly the number of insolvencies of young adults between 18 and 25 has increased by 3.2 per cent in comparison with the first three quarters of 2010 (in comparison with the first nine months of 2009 even by 38.8 per cent), in the age group of over 60-year-olds even by 8.6 per cent. Secondly, a detailed look at the sex according to age shows that in the age group of 18 to 25 year olds young women in particular have been facing problems with overindebtedness. In this age segment the figures have increased by 5.8 per cent in comparison with the first three quarters of 2010 – the number of men in this age group has merely increased by 0.1 per cent. Thirdly, private insolvencies in the age group 60-plus (plus 8.6 per cent of cases) increasingly concern women – showing a two-digit increase by 14 per cent in comparison with the year of 2010. Men of the same age group merely recorded an increase by 5.2 per cent. Fourthly, the number private insolvencies concerning women has increased by 0.5 per cent in the first three quarters of 2011 in comparison with the reference period 2010. The number of cases concerning men on the other hand has dropped by 2.9 per cent. The trend showing that more men (58 per cent) than women in Germany are forced to file for insolvency still applies to the first three quarters of 2011.

Taking the region in context the private insolvencies nationwide especially concerned the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia (24,091 cases), Lower Saxony (13,019) and Bavaria (11,566) in the first three quarters. In a detailed analysis in relation to the population density the northern federal states come off the worst.

Private Insolvencies in Germany

Most cases were recorded by Bremen with 227 insolvencies per 100,000 head of population, followed by Hamburg (174), Lower Saxony (164) and Schleswig-Holstein (163). The federal average amounts to 126 cases per 100,000 head of population. The least cases of private insolvency were noted by Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg – 92 and 94 cases respectively per 100,000 head of population.
While twelve federal states show a declining number of cases in comparison with the same period in 2010, Hamburg shows the strongest and the only state with a two-digit increase by 11.7 per cent. But also in North-Rhine-Westphalia (plus 5.9 per cent), Berlin (plus 5.7 per cent) and Thuringia (plus 2.9 per cent) the debtor situation has gotten worse. Success, on the other hand, has been recorded by Saxony (minus 9.8 per cent), Baden-Wuerttemberg (minus 8.9 per cent) and Rhineland-Palatinate (minus 6.3 per cent).

Percentaged Changes in Private Insolvencies

The main causes for private insolvencies are unemployment, divorce, separation, illness, failed mortgaging or self-employment as well as an unsuitable consumption behavior in relation to the income situation. According to the survey conducted by Bürgel the largest risk class in regard to private overindebtedness is the youngest age segment.


CRIF Bürgel GmbH
– Branch Head Office –
Leopoldstraße 244
Fax:  +49 40 89803-777/778