MORE people in Yorkshire are declaring themselves bankrupt, figures show.
Ministry of Justice statistics showed a 12% increase in the number of people petitioning for their own bankruptcy during the first quarter of 2008.
The figure of 1,271 compares with 1,130 in the fourth quarter of last year.
Across England and Wales, there was an 11% increase in the number of people making themselves bankrupt compared with the previous quarter.
There was also a 6% decline in the number using Individual Voluntary Arrangements, where an individual in financial difficulties reaches agreement with creditors to restructure their debts.
Some 13,275 people successfully petitioned courts to bankrupt themselves and 8,805 agreed an IVA in the quarter to March, 2008.
Separate figures from the Insolvency Service show that the average bankrupt has debts of £50,828.
Paul Bateman, head of personal insolvency for accountancy firm KPMG in the north, said: “Even with base rates starting to fall, consumers are seeing the cost of their mortgages increase, fuel costs continue to go up and now food prices are rising in a manner not seen for years.
“More than 1m homeowners face the end of cheap fixed rate deals this year, mortgage deals are increasingly difficult to secure and unsecured lending has tighter restrictions than for many years as a result of the credit crunch.
“Consumers are faced with a barrage of bad news with no sign of a respite.”