Company location Less bankruptcies instead of bankruptcies
Status: 10.06.2021 11:38 a.m.
The number of companies filing for bankruptcy in Germany fell in the first few months of the year. Other numbers also indicate no bankruptcy wave so far. But there were significantly more consumer bankruptcies. In the current year, the wave of bankruptcies feared as a result of the corona crisis has not materialized in Germany so far. From January to March, 3762 companies filed for bankruptcy, as the Federal Statistical Office announced. That meant a decrease of 19.7 percent compared to the first quarter of the previous year. “The economic hardship of many companies due to the Corona crisis was therefore not yet reflected in an increase in the number of reported corporate insolvencies,” explained the statisticians. The number of regular insolvency proceedings opened gives indications of further developments. In May, this was seven percent below the value of the previous month. In April there was even a decline of 17 percent after significant growth rates had been registered in February and March.
Effect of the Corona exception rules
One reason for the low number of company bankruptcies in the current year is the obligation to file for insolvency, which was temporarily suspended during the Corona crisis, for insolvent and over-indebted companies. Insolvent companies have had to file for bankruptcy again since October 2020. This obligation was suspended until the end of December for over-indebted companies. For companies that have been waiting for the payment of the government aid that has been planned since November, the obligation to apply for insolvency proceedings since May 1, 2021 applies again in full in the event of an imbalance. On average, the companies affected by insolvency in the first quarter were larger than in the same period of the previous year. At 17.1 billion euros, the expected claims of the creditors were well above the figure for the same period in the previous year of 7.3 billion euros.
Consumer bankruptcies have risen sharply
The number of consumer bankruptcies developed differently than with companies. This rose in the first quarter by more than half compared to the same period of the previous year to 22,686. “The sharp increase is related to a law to gradually shorten residual debt discharge procedures from six to three years,” explained the Federal Statistical Office. The new regulation enables those affected to make a quicker economic fresh start after insolvency proceedings. “It can therefore be assumed that many over-indebted private individuals initially withheld their application for bankruptcy in order to benefit from the new regulation,” it said.