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Avoiding Bankruptcy: Is It Worth It?
by Michael Curry
The stigma of being in debt or going bankrupt seems to be eroding. This is partly because of the sheer number of people who have experienced debt problems in the UK. It is also because debt is seen as an unavoidable feature of everyday life.

The stigma of being in debt or going bankrupt seems to be eroding. This is partly because of the sheer number of people who have experienced debt problems in the UK. It is also because debt is seen as an unavoidable feature of everyday life.

According to recent research, the average UK household has debts of £4,092. Furthermore, student debt is now the norm rather than the exception. A survey carried out by the national consumer debt service revealed interesting findings.

It showed that students are worried about the debts they are building up while at university and believe that once you are in debt it is difficult to get out of it. However the majority think that debt is a normal part of today’s lifestyle and borrowing money for university is a good investment.

People are no Longer Desperate to Avoid Bankruptcy

As being in debt starts to lose its stigma, so too does bankruptcy. In recent years the number of people declaring themselves bankrupt in the UK has soared. In 2003 around 45,000 were made bankrupt in the UK. By the end of 2005, this figure had risen to a staggering 70,000. Of this number well over half had actually chosen to go bankrupt. This shows that bankruptcy is being seen as a debt solution rather than as something that should be avoided.

Should We Try and Avoid Bankruptcy?

This new approach to bankruptcy in the UK is very worrying. This is because many people do not understand the long term negative implications of going bankrupt. Bankruptcy carries many serious disadvantages and penalties which means that it really should be avoided if at all possible.

For example, if you go bankrupt you can lose your business and professional status. Whilst is you run your own company it will be closed down and your employees will be dismissed. In the future you will not be allowed to form, manage or promote a company without the express permission of the court.

Bankruptcy should also be avoided because of the personal disadvantages it brings. For instance, it is not uncommon for a person to lose their home when they are declared bankrupt. Furthermore it can be practically impossible to obtain credit.

How Can You Avoid Bankruptcy?

In 1986, the government introduced IVAs as an alternative to bankruptcy. Unlike with bankruptcy there are no long term disadvantages or penalties associated with an IVA.

An IVA enables people with debts over £15,000 and multiple creditors to repay there debts over a five year period via affordable monthly repayments. These repayment amounts can be as low as £200. Often a proportion of the debt is written off altogether and interest on the debt is frozen.

Avoiding Bankruptcy

Although bankruptcy appears to be losing some of its stigma, it is still worth avoiding if possible. This is because of the serious and long term disadvantages that it carries.

An IVA is a government backed alternative to bankruptcy which allows debtors to clear their debts via affordable monthly repayments and without incurring any penalties. As a result setting up an IVA is one of the best ways of avoiding bankruptcy in the UK.

Clear Start offers free IVA advice to help you find a legitimate alternative to bankruptcy: Avoid Bankruptcy and Alternative to Bankruptcy

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