But while the situation for individuals worsened the figures show that slightly fewer companies are going bust than over the whole of last year.
According to the figures 3,408 companies were declared insolvent during the first quarter of 2000, a decrease of 1.6% on the previous quarter, and 7.5% down on the same quarter last year.
However, there were 7,662 individual bankruptcies in the first quarter of this year, and rise on the previous three months of 3.7%. But the figures represent a worrying 11.8% rise on the same period of 1999.
It is thought the increase in the number of small businesses using homes to secure loans is the link between insolvency and personal financial disaster.However, the fall in company insolvency is understood to reflect strengthening economic growth.
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