Something fishy about one in ten bankruptcies

22/04/2002 10:00

Nearly 3,800 bankruptcies were ended in 2000. Ten percent of these cases involved supposed punishable treatment of creditors. The share of bankruptcies involving punishable treatment has doubled since 1992.

Bankruptcies ended, 1992 – 2000

Unpaid debts in 2000: 1.2 billion euro

Unpaid debts stemming from bankruptcies totalled nearly 1.2 billon euro in 2000. Fraudulent transactions account for 155 million euro of this amount. The outstanding debt per ended bankruptcy was 314 thousand euro. For natural persons it was 84 million euro, for self-employed persons 134 million euro and for private companies 964 million euro.

The total unpaid debt varied between 1.03 and 1.39 billion euro in the period 1992 – 2000. This alternating upward and downward trend was mainly determined by increases and decreases in the debts of private companies going into receivership.

Unpaid debts, 1992 – 2000

Bankruptcies take longer to settle

The period required to dispose of a bankruptcy case has increased in the last ten years. In 1992 one in three cases were settled within twelve months. In 2000 only one in five cases were settled within this period. More than half of bankruptcies take longer than two years to settle. In 1992 this was 39 percent.

Period required to dispose of bankruptcy cases, 2000

In 2000 the length of time needed for settlement varied between the legal forms. Sixty percent of cases settled within 24 months were natural persons, fifty percent were self-employed and 42 percent  were private companies.

Dick Boer