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The Biz!: BANKRUPTCY IS ON THE INCREASE; Under-30s in debt are choosing 'the soft option.

Byline: By NEIL HODGSON

BANKRUPTCY among the region's under-30s is rising significantly.

A report by accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that the number of under-30s going bankrupt has more than doubled in the past two years.

The regional trend is in line with figures for England and Wales that show almost 15% of all declared bankrupts in the year to March 31 2004 were 30 or younger; nearly twice the proportion two years earlier. Also, the gap between male and female bankrupts across the north west has been narrowing over the past three years. Although men accounted for 66% of all bankruptcies in 2003/2004 in the north west - the highest of any region in the UK - almost 10% more women went bankrupt in 2003/2004 than in 2001/2002.

Insolvency experts at PwC say the figures suggest that consumer debt problems among women and under 30s are contributing to the record numbers of bankruptcies.

David Thornhill, director in the business recovery services practice at PwC, said: 'A new bankrupt is emerging in the north west who is more likely to be female, under 30 and has not been in business before.

'The north west has seen one of the biggest swings towards young bankrupts as the increase in bankruptcies under-30 rose nearly 110% over the past two years.

'Consumer debt levels among women and young people appear to have contributed to the growth in bankruptcies here last year and many individuals mistakenly believe bankruptcy is now a softer option
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2005
Words:249
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