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The latest figures from the Insolvency Service show how IVAs surged in popularity between 2004 and 2006, perhaps because of the advertising and insolvency advice given to individuals facing financial difficulties.

In the report, the Insolvency Service looks at the prevalence of IVAs between 1990 and 2013, and found 5% of IVAs registered in 2005 and 8% of those registered in 2006 are still ongoing.

This follows a rapid rise in the total number of IVAs registered in those years, following a fairly stable and relatively low registration rate in the previous years.

According to the report: “The number of new IVAs registered each year has increased substantially over the period covered, from fewer than 10,000 annually up to 2003, to a peak of over 50,000 in 2010, with a particularly rapid increase between 2004 and 2006.”

It adds that “the increase in IVAs between 2004 and 2006 coincided with high levels of advertising by companies which manage these arrangements”.

This greater availability of personal insolvency advice may have helped many people to avoid outright bankruptcy – one of the purposes for which the less formal option of IVAs exists in the first place.