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Could 2011 see even more IVAs & bankruptcies in Northern Ireland?
Last year, Northern Ireland saw more people than ever enter an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) to tackle their debts: 1,002 people in total.
This year, it looks like we're on track for an even higher total. So far in 2011, 819 people in Northern Ireland have already entered an IVA - and that's in just three quarters of the year.
In fact, the second quarter of the year saw 301 people enter an IVA, which is more than we've seen in any other three-month period - ever.
So far this year, an average of 273 have entered an IVA per quarter, so if we saw a similar number in the final three months of the year, nearly 1,100 people would end up starting an IVA this year.
And IVAs aren't the only form of insolvency where the numbers have been increasing recently.
The story for bankruptcies is pretty similar: last year, more people entered bankruptcy than ever before (1,321), but it looks like this year's total could easily be higher.
So far, 1,203 people have entered bankruptcy in Northern Ireland in the first nine months of the year. That's an average of 401 people per three months, so if the figures for October - December were to follow the same kind of pattern, around 1,600 people in Northern Ireland would be declared bankrupt this year.
Finally, there's the DRO (the Debt Relief Order), a new form of insolvency introduced in Northern Ireland at the end of June this year to help residents who are struggling with their debts but have very little in the way of assets or spare money.
Just 34 people entered a DRO in the first quarter it was available (July - September), but ministers expect that many more people will start turning to DROs as the best way of tackling their debt problems.
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