Drastic increase: NRW: More and more private individuals are stranded in financial ruin


Düsseldorf –

The number of personal bankruptcies is increasing dramatically. Some over-indebted people have waited to take advantage of an improved legal situation. The corona crisis is having an impact on others.

  • More and more private individuals are stranded in financial ruin
  • The number of personal bankruptcies has increased significantly
  • The SPD parliamentary group calls for consequences

According to a survey by the Crifbürgel credit agency, the number of personal bankruptcies in North Rhine-Westphalia rose dramatically in the first quarter.

Number of personal bankruptcies in NRW increased by 81 percent

A total of 8142 people filed for personal bankruptcy between January and March in the most populous federal state. That means an increase of 81 percent compared to the previous year, reported the credit agency.

According to Crifbürgel managing director Frank Schlein, the reason for the increase is mainly a legal reform that many of those affected have waited for. Accordingly, it is now easier for consumers to be freed from their remaining debts after three years instead of the previous six years.

“Since this reform is a great advantage, many applicants have been waiting for the relevant decision of the Bundestag,” Schlein explained. According to Crifbürgel, there were 31,821 personal bankruptcies nationwide in the first quarter. That was 56.5 percent more than in the same period of the previous year.

SPD parliamentary group calls for consequences

The SPD parliamentary group calls for consequences from the development. Several statistics have shown the aggravated problem, reported the parliamentary group’s consumer protection expert, Inge Blask, on Tuesday in Düsseldorf.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 588,000 people took the help of debtor and insolvency advice centers last year – around 6,000 more than in the previous year.

Every second over-indebted person in NRW is unemployed

Almost every second indebted person who turned to advice centers was unemployed, said Blask. As a result of the Corona crisis, many of those affected would have lost or completely lost income – especially from the leisure industry, culture, tourism and gastronomy.

The charities increasingly pointed out that there was more demand in their debt counseling centers and that new groups of those affected were emerging.

Can the “notification euro” help with personal bankruptcy in North Rhine-Westphalia?

The list of demands of the SPD opposition to the state government includes a “notification euro” for better financing of debt counseling. All creditors who apply for enforcement at the local court should therefore have to pay an additional “notification euro”. In view of the growing demand – also due to the pandemic – the advisory network must be expanded.

The obolus for the decision could help to finance the additional needs.

In addition, a legal basis must allow all citizens nationwide free access to debt counseling – unlike previously also self-employed.

Take Bavaria as an example

In addition, NRW should follow the example of Bavaria and abolish the senseless separation of debtor and consumer insolvency advice centers. The country is providing 6.1 million euros for insolvency advice this year, reported Blask.

How much flows from the municipalities into debt counseling is not known.

The SPD also insists on binding quality standards. The term debt counselor is not protected, so that many black sheep can romp around on this market. (dpa)

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