In the first half of 2006, the number of restructured debts increased by approximately the same amount as in the first six months of 2005. Thus the increase remained stable after a period of substantial increase since 2003. More people, on the other hand, filed a request to be admitted to a debt relief scheme.
Number of debt restructuring arrangements
Slightly fewer one-man businesses involved
In the first six months of 2006, there were 7.6 thousand new cases of debt restructuring; 86 percent of new cases involved natural persons. People may become involved in debt restructuring proceedings by an unfortunate combination of increasing fixed costs, a low monthly income and having borrowed more money than their financial situation allows. People who previously only just managed to make both ends meet, are thus prone to run into problems.
Some 14 percent of new debt restructuring arrangements involve persons running one-man businesses. In the first half of 2006, their number fell by 3 percent compared the same period one year previously.
Number of debt repayment schemes down in seven provinces
The number of restructured debts was not stable across all provinces: it fell in seven provinces and increased marginally in four provinces compared to 2005.
North Brabant stands out with a 36 percent increase in the first six months of 2006. The number of debt restructuring schemes was reduced in Flevoland, but in relative terms, this province had the highest rate (81 per 100 thousand inhabitants). With 26 per 100 thousand inhabitants, the lowest rate was recorded in Friesland:.
Restructured debts by province
Increase in larger municipalities
In the first half of 2006, the rate in municipalities with more than 150 thousand inhabitants was 64 per 100 thousand residents, an increase by 16 percent compared to the same period one year previously. In municipalities whose population did not exceed 150 thousand, on the other hand, the number of debt restructuring arrangements decreased. In small municipalities (fewer than 20 thousand inhabitants), the rate decreased by 7 percent to 26 per 100 thousand inhabitants.
Restructured debts by municipal population
Wim Vissers and Frits Huls