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Against predictions that we would see an increase, fewer people were declared insolvent in England and Wales in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the last quarter of 2010.

According to the Insolvency Service, 30,162 individuals went insolvent between January and March this year which is more than 15% lower than the same period last year.

While a large number of people still apply for bankruptcy or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, Debt Relief Orders have seen an increase since it was introduced in.

Against a backdrop of high inflation, increased living costs and rising unemployment we expect the level of personal insolvencies to remain high for some years yet.