The families and companies that declared bankruptcy (suspension of payments and bankruptcies) due to the impossibility of facing their payments and debts totaled 6,718 in 2020, a figure 13.6% lower than in 2019, according to the Bankruptcy Procedure Statistics of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) published this Friday. This decrease in bankrupt debtors registered in 2020 puts an end to three consecutive years of increases after the increases in 2019 (+ 21.5%), 2018 (+ 11.2%) and 2017 (+ 9.5%).
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Despite the fact that business bankruptcies have fallen throughout the year, the fourth quarter of last year has been very negative with an increase of 5.8% compared to the same period of the previous year and allows us to glimpse the worst forecasts for 2021. The agents Social organizations have already warned that companies are facing a serious solvency problem this year, which is why they have asked for direct aid to companies to avoid bankruptcy.
The decline in bankrupt debtors in 2020 was the consequence of a 14.4% drop in companies in bankruptcy, to 4,097, and a 12.1% decrease in families that declared bankruptcy, which totaled 2,621 in the whole of 2020. In this way, 2020 put an end to two consecutive years of promotions of companies in bankruptcy and four years of rallies of families that are declared insolvent.
All economic sectors cut bankruptcies in 2020 except for one of the sectors most affected by COVD, the hospitality industry, which shot up the number of insolvencies by 35.6% last year.
A worrying last trimester
The number of bankrupt debtors reached 2,428 in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing an increase of 5.8% compared to the same period of the previous year.
If the comparison is made between quarters, the data are much worse, since they reflect a strong rise in bankrupt debtors in relation to the previous quarter, of 44.7%, to add 2,428 procedures.
This quarterly increase came after bankrupt families shot up 60.3%, with 1,045 insolvencies, and increased companies insolvent by 34.8%, to 1,383 procedures, the highest figure since the first quarter of 2015.
Within the business segment, the quarterly increase of 87.7% in tenders presented by individuals with business activity (self-employed) stands out.