Bankruptcy on the rise

Bankruptcy rates have increased by a staggering 261 percent over the past 20 years, according to a study conducted by the Melbourne Law School.

According to the study’s author, Professor Ian Ramsay, bankruptcy is now hitting the nation’s middle class, and the insolvency rate in NSW alone is now 50 percent.

Professor Ramsay attributed the increase to Australia’s love affair with credit, among other things.

“Over the last 10 years, excessive use of credit as a cause of non-business related bankruptcies has gone up by more than 100 per cent.”

Gambling has also been attributed as a cause of bankruptcy, up 230 percent over the last 10 years.

But the main finding uncovered a high level of bankruptcy from those in “higher status occupations.”

“They (middle class) also have increasing levels of both personal income, but also household income. They also have increasing assets and property ownership levels”, Professor Ramsay said.

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