New figures from the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) have revealed the fastest rate of Australians going bankrupt since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. The report shows that more than 7,000 have gone broke in the March quarter.
Queensland and Western Australia were hit the hardest, with the biggest increases in personal insolvencies occuring in these states.
Total personal insolvencies have increased by 2% on the March 2015 quarter and 1.9% on the December 2015 quarter. This is the fourth consecutive rise when compared to the same quarter in the previous year. The last time four consecutive rises occurred was in 2009.
In more negative news for Western Australia, debt agreements in the state across the March quarter come to the highest on record.
Overall, Queensland leads the way for personal insolvencies with a total of 2,197 reported, followed closely by New South Wales with 2,034 and Victoria with 1,437.
Keith Garner of the Wesley Mission has said that his organisation received more than 6,000 calls from financially distressed citizens in 2015, and advocates greater financial education as a possible remedy.
“I think we need not only more people available to help folks before it gets too difficult, we also need much more financial counselling," he said.
"We need much more financial education in our schools, with our young people and with families so that the issues that people are having to face, they’re equipped to deal with them."