Breaking the four minute mark is something that has been traditionally heralded as a bit of a triumph. Ever since Roger Bannister’s breaking of the four minute mile in 1954, it has become synonymous with accomplishment, a source of pride and a benchmark for achievement.

Well, there is nothing to be proud of in passing our latest four minute milestone. There is a declaration of insolvency every 3 minutes and 58 seconds. That’s some record; a first in British financial history. This translates to about 11,000 people being declared bankrupt or going into an IVA in the United Kingdom each month.

In the wake of global recession this perhaps doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Rates of insolvency, both bankruptcy and sequestration, have been rising gradually for a couple of years and there was an element of inevitability about the findings but this doesn’t stop it making for distressing reading. Particularly when we count the associated costs of bankruptcy and become aware of the alternatives. Bankruptcy is such a severe debt solution and borrowers should be conscious of the other options at their disposal.

Primarily, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, or IVA, is a preferred method of tackling debt. Whereas a bankruptcy will tend to result in the loss of assets like your home, the IVA process will let you keep your house, even though it might be necessary to relinquish a proportion of the equity. This isn’t the only benefit that an IVA has over bankruptcy. Where bankruptcy is a matter of public record, published in your local newspaper, it’s possible to keep an IVA far more private. It will still be published on the Insolvency Service website but it won’t be in any newspapers.

The Individual Voluntary Arrangement came into being as part of the 1986 Insolvency Act and has recently become increasingly more popular as an alternative bankruptcy. Of course, any debt solution should be carefully researched to ensure that you are taking on the right option to suit your circumstances. The Harrington Brooks Debt Wizard is an excellent free resource in ascertaining the right course of action. In 15 seconds, it can give you an accurate breakdown of the alternatives to bankruptcy. Now, that’s a timeframe that you can be proud of.