Northern Ireland news

Bankruptcy cases and home repossessions in Northern Ireland are at their lowest level in a decade

The cases, dealt with in the Chancery division of the High Court, began to increase sharply after the economic downturn

BANKRUPTCY cases and home repossessions are at their lowest level in a decade, latest statistics from Northern Ireland's courts reveal.

The cases, dealt with in the Chancery division of the High Court - which began to increase sharply after the economic downturn - peaked in 2012 and 2013.

There were sharp increases each year between 2007 and 2010 as the decline in the wider economic climate saw personal and business debts mount.

In 2012, 3,157 homeowners in mortgage arrears - almost nine a day - were taken to court by lenders.

And bankruptcy proceedings hit their highest level a year later, with 2,266 received by the courts in 2012.

However, both have been falling steadily every year.

Last year, just 755 mortgage arrears were dealt with by courts in Northern Ireland - a 76 per cent fall since in five years.

The sharpest fall has been since 2014 - a 60 per cent fall in the number of applications by lenders seeking payment or the repossession of property by homeowners.

Last year there was an eight per cent decrease.

Mortgage applications remain the bulk of cases in the Chancery division by a considerable margin - 80 per cent.

The figures reveal a decrease of 30 per cent in the number of bankruptcy cases received between 2013 and 2017.

The Insolvency Service has revealed that individual bankruptcies decreased by 19 per cent between 2016 and 2017, while the number of companies cases received has fallen by 22 per cent in the same period.

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