A surge in debt agreements has heightened concerns that consumers in financial hardship may be exacerbating their problems by adopting expensive techniques of escaping debt.
Figures released Australian Financial Security Authority show, while total personal insolvencies in the September quarter have risen by 1.1 per cent over the year, debt agreements are up 7.3 per cent.
Over the same time bankruptcies have declined by 3.5 per cent.
The AFSA figures show a total of 7,590 personal insolvencies were reported for the September quarter, 22 per cent down on the quarterly record of almost 10,000 seven years ago at the height of the global financial crisis.
Financial Counselling Australia chief executive Fiona Guthrie said it is disappointing, but not surprising, that debt agreements are rising despite often being unsuitable for those taking them up.
- Total personal insolvencies up 1.1pc
- Debt agreements up 7.3pc, bankruptcies down 3.5pc
- Debt agreements opaque and expensive: ASIC