Britain is likely to see an increase in personal insolvencies of more than nine per cent in 2008, a new study has predicted.
Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has published a report which suggests overspending at Christmas will be responsible for at last a third of the 28,000 insolvencies it anticipates before April.
Mike Gerrard, head of the company’s personal insolvency practice, said many Britons had failed to heed "financial warning bells" as they shopped for Christmas.
"Come January, they find themselves in a situation where previous financial woes are compounded by the bills arriving from the festive season and in these situations insolvency becomes the only way out," he explained.
For those facing insolvency, one alternative to bankruptcy is an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA).
These were created to allow people to avoid bankruptcy and to retain possession of important items such as their home.
IVAs allow a certain amount of money to be written off in order to set a borrower debt-free within a set period of time, often five years.