April bankruptcies rise, worse to come

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 May, 2009, 12:00am

Personal bankruptcies rose 56 per cent last month from a year earlier, the latest figures from the Official Receiver's Office show.

Some 1,490 personal bankruptcy petitions were filed last month, down 20 per cent from March. Despite the improvement from the previous month, the April figure was up from April 2008 when 957 petitions were filed.

The office did not provide reasons for the improvement in April, but bankruptcy lawyers warned the worst was yet to come. 'The economy is deteriorating,' said Tsui Pui-hung, a partner at Shea and Company. 'Unemployment is still serious.'

Tse Lin-chung, a partner at Yip, Tse and Tang, said banks had been more willing to consider debt restructuring in recent months, which, temporarily at least, delayed the bankruptcy problem.