Scholarly article on topic 'Personal Bankruptcy in the Capital City Region and South Bohemian Region in the Czech Republic'

Personal Bankruptcy in the Capital City Region and South Bohemian Region in the Czech Republic Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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{"Personal bankruptcy" / Debtor / "Insolvency ;Czech Republic ;Debt relief" / Creditor}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Jan Hospodka, Ondřej Buben, Monika Randáková, Jiřina Bokšová

Abstract Personal bankruptcy, as a process of debt relief, is very popular among those who want to solve their complicated financial situation nowadays. It is also one of the ways how insolvency can be declared in the Czech Republic. There are two ways of processing personal bankruptcy: firstly debts of an individual can be repaid (partial or whole) by selling some of the debtor's assets. Secondly, depending on the debtor's income, part of the debt can be repaid through repayment plan. In this research it is not defined by which of these two ways is personal bankruptcy handled, but it concentrates on structure of debtors in particular regions of the Czech Republic such as gender, age, education and income. This paper is also focused on comparison of above mentioned characteristics between regions.

Academic research paper on topic "Personal Bankruptcy in the Capital City Region and South Bohemian Region in the Czech Republic"

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Economics and Finance

Procedia Economics and Finance 25 (2015) 41 -52

www.elsevier.com/locate/procedia

16th Annual Conference on Finance and Accounting, ACFA Prague 2015, 29th May 2015

Personal Bankruptcy in the Capital City Region and South Bohemian Region in the Czech Republic

Jan Hospodkaa* Ondrej Bubena Monika Randakovaa Jirina Boksovaa

aUniversity of Economics, Prague; Department of Financial Accounting and Auditing, W. Churchill Sq. 4, Prague 130 67, Czech Republic

Abstract

Personal bankruptcy, as a process of debt relief, is very popular among those who want to solve their complicated financial situation nowadays. It is also one of the ways how insolvency can be declared in the Czech Republic. There are two ways of processing personal bankruptcy: firstly debts of an individual can be repaid (partial or whole) by selling some of the debtor's assets. Secondly, depending on the debtor's income, part of the debt can be repaid through repayment plan. In this research it is not defined by which of these two ways is personal bankruptcy handled, but it concentrates on structure of debtors in particular regions of the Czech Republic such as gender, age, education and income. This paper is also focused on comparison of above mentioned characteristics between regions.

© 2015 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevier B.V.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of University of Economics, Prague, Faculty of Finance and Accounting Keywords: Personal bankruptcy; Debtor, Insolvency;Czech Republic;Debt relief; Creditor

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1. Introduction

The amount of household loans has been significantly increasing in the last decade in the Czech Republic. This growth is caused especially by low financial literacy of population. Therefore households are taking loans despite their inability to repay them in the future. It can be said that apart from financial literacy, there is also a lack of responsibility to their future life (and future life of their closest in many cases). For these cases, there is possibility of debt relief listed in the law number 182/2006 Sb. (Insolvency Act, 2008) and an opportunity of new beginning.

* Corresponding author. E-mail address: xhosj00@vse.cz

2212-5671 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of University of Economics, Prague, Faculty of Finance and Accounting doi: 10.1016/S2212-5671 (15)00711-X

Source: Czech National Bank, 2015

Fig. 1: Development of loans in the Czech Republic.

Even though Figure 1 illustrates rather swiftly rising amount of loans lent to households, other data imply that overall ratio of private debt to GDP has been quite steady between years 1995-2011 and has oscillated around 87 % of GDP. In comparison to other European countries examined, only in Poland the ratio was lower. (Izak, V., 2014). However, OECD data suggest that there was no country in Europe (unfortunately the Czech Republic was not a part of this research) where there was lower ratio of overall households debts to GDP in year 2010 than in year 1995. In all countries the ratio was steadily growing over the years. We could assume that in the Czech Republic the development was similar. (Izak, V., 2012) This confirms the data from Czech National Bank.

"Personal bankruptcy in the Czech population increases by 30% annually, and personal bankruptcy is a new approach to debt relief." (Pasekova, M., 2013).

Source: Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014b

Fig. 2: The development of personal bankruptcies in the Czech Republic.

Two regions have been already analysed in the research and this paper presents their comparison. First is the South Bohemian Region, which had nearly 637 thousand residents of which were 51% women. The unemployment rate was 5,2% and average gross wage used to be over 22 TCZK. Higher education had only 9% of residents in this area and it is interesting that the gender ratio among those individuals remained the same (51% women). Second is Prague city Region, which had a little over 1 243 thousand residents. There is a huge difference in population size to these regions, but their gender ratio is almost the same. Fifty-two percent of residents were women. On the other hand Higher Education had 21% of residents there, which is more than double against South Bohemian Region and the gender rate was the opposite of residents (52% men). The unemployment rate in Prague was just 3,1% and average gross wage was nearly 33 thousand CZK. This data apply to 31.12.2013. (Czech Statistical Office, 2015)

The main aim of this research is to analyse debtors who are undergoing or already went through a process of personal bankruptcy in Regions in the Czech Republic. The secondary aim is to compare the outputs of these regions to each other.

2. Theoretical Basis

2.1. Debt relief

This research concentrates on debt relief. Debt relief is intended for those who are not able to pay their debts. However, there are some conditions to successful apply for debt relief. The debts cannot be out of the business, must be more than thirty days overdue and debtor has to owe to at least two creditors. If those circumstances are fulfilled, debtor can submit a proposal for a debt relief. The proposal must contain following information: method of debt relief, identification of the debtor, list of assets and liabilities, expected income of the debtor in next sixty months and debtor's income for last thirty-six months. After submission of the proposal, debtor has to wait for court's decision. Court's decision, whether agreed to debt relief or not, depends also on debtor's honest intentions, which must be assessed by the judge. There is also condition that debtor should be able to pay at least 30% of its debts to creditors. The process of personal bankruptcy starts in the moment of approval of the proposal by the court. At the beginning of the process, there is a bankruptcy administrator assigned to each debtor. The bankruptcy administrator supervises the whole process since then and debtor is protected by court against new fines, interest and penalties, which might come from its creditors.

2.2. Methods of debt relief

There are two main methods of debt relief used in the Czech Republic. The first is repayment plan, which is probably most commonly used method in the Czech Republic. It includes repaying some or even all debts during next five years since approved proposal for a debt relief. Debtor should repay at least 30% of its debts, but there is also a small probability that court will agree with lower percentage. Debtor remains only with subsistence minimum, which should be enough for its living and all the rest of debtor's gains is used to pay the creditors. This process lasts for 5 years and debtor is constantly overseen by court for the whole time. Consequently the best chance of successful proposal has the one with regular income. The second method of debt relief is selling debtor's assets and using the money to repay creditors. By using this method it is unnecessary to supervise the debtor in next 5 years.

2.3. Insolvency legislation in the Czech Republic

Even though bankruptcy handling has a long tradition in the Czech Republic, the legislation concerning about bankruptcies used to be the one of the most outdated parts of Czech legislation not so long time ago. First mention of bankruptcy handling in Czech history can be found back in 1781 as Josephine bankruptcy order. Since then the order was novelized many times till the year of 1931, when the law number 64/1931 Sb. passed. The newly passed law covered most of the bankruptcy problems at that time, but the development was interrupted by the regime,

which had changed and did not demand such a law. Forty years later in 1991 returns the insolvency legislation with law number 328/1991 Sb. Due to four decades gap in development of insolvency issue, the law evinced many imperfections.

There is no need to argue that our legislation needed a change. In the legislation are elements, which we could find abroad, where the inspiration was taken - mostly in United States of America and in Germany. In the first article of the American constitution is stated that the insolvency law is adjusted by the federal law, which supports the ideas that issue of bankruptcies takes a huge importance in the USA. In 1978 passed the new insolvency law in USA. It was called Bankruptcy law (The establishment of Bankruptcy Courts, Federal Judicial center) and other insolvency laws in other countries were based on foundation of this one. Its influence reached even to European law, where can be found the same principles as in the mentioned law in the EU council regulation number 1346/2000. Czech Republic is part of the EU since 2004, therefore is also influenced by American legislation. However the insolvency legislation in the Czech Republic is mostly influence by Germany. Germany has the insolvency law divide into two parts. The parts could be called common and special. Common part adjusts the whole process of insolvency such as bankruptcy proceedings, liquidation and distribution of proceeds. The second adjusts the processes which are different from those that are common, such as debt relief, bankruptcy plan, consumer's bankruptcy proceedings and other proceedings (Raban, P., 2002). On these basis passed the Insolvency law number 182/2006 Sb. in the Czech Republic and it is still quit new in Czech Republic and our system is still getting used to it. (Frelichová, K., 2008)

3. Methodology

This section will describe the process that was used by our team in order to work with our information sources and how the information was used to fulfil the goal of our research. All the essential information was acquired from the Czech Insolvency Register (Ministry of the Czech Republic, 2014a). In the process of acquiring the data all the debtors who were listed under the Regional court of Ceské Budejovice and the City court of Prague (to which the debtors from South Bohemian Region and Prague belong) were profoundly screened. Because the data cannot be automatically obtained from the register, all the debtors must be manually screened in order to obtain all the necessary data. It is therefore essential to check and read through each debtor's proposal as they are available only in PDF format which cannot be processed automatically. The time period being analysed was from the 1st of January 2012 until the 31st of December 2013.

In order to work with proper data some adjustments had to be made. The complete list of all debtors was cleared of individuals whose application was not successful for the first time and because of that they applied for debt relief more than one time. As a result of that in our list of debtors these individuals appeared more than once and they would bias the outcomes of our research. These debtors are therefore included only once in this research.

Only debtors who applied for debt relief were taken into account and the list were cleared out of debtors who applies for a different form of insolvency. Consequently it was analysed whether the debtor was successful or not. If not, than the debtor was analysed further so that all their eventual other tries were analysed as well. If the debtor was not successful with their first proposal in the analysed period, information about these debtors were taken from their last proposal, however only proposal filled before 31st of August 2014 was used in the case of the South Bohemian Region and 31st of October 2014 in the case of Prague. The number of debtors who filled their last debt relief after 31st of August and before 31st of October 2014 is smaller than twenty individuals, so this should not bias the outcomes in any way. In the long term the aim of the research is to have the data completely comparable, which means having in all regions debtors with their last proposal before 31st of December 2014.

All debtors were also analysed in order to obtain the information of their income. Because of the fact, that there are many different kinds of earnings among population, it was decided to divide income into three different groups -gross earnings, social contributions and net earnings. As these earnings are not fully comparable, it was necessary to adjust gross earnings with a simple formula onto net earnings. In this paper only net earnings of debtors (as a sum of adjusted gross earnings, social contributions and net earnings) are presented. Apart from income the debtors were also analysed for their level of education (whether they have achieved at least some level of university degree or

not) and for their age. It is also important to state that only debtors who were successful were afterward used for the purpose of this research.

This research was conducted on the basis of 100% sample which should guarantee accurate outcomes. In the future the aim is to use this 100% sample in order to determine the minimum size of a sample which is going to be used in other regions to obtain correct outcomes in shorter period of time.

4. Research

This research aims is to analyse the structure of debtors which are applying for debt relief in the period 2012 -2013 in all regions of Bohemian lands. Apart from that the obtained results should make it possible to compare results from particular regions of the Czech Republic with each other. This paper intends to compare the results of the research of the debtors in the capital city of the Czech Republic - Prague and the South Bohemian Region. It should analyze whether the differences between each region, such as different standards of living or different population structure, have any impact on the structure of debtors. The outcomes of our comparison are sorted into different chapters, where our measurements will be presented and examined.

In following table it is possible to see the amount of debtors who applied for debt relief and the amount of debtors who were successful with their proposal and consequently analysed.

Table 1: amount of approved/refused proposals in both regions

Number of debt relief

Region proposals Approved Refused

South Bohemian 3 167 2 848 319

Prague 2 084 1 724 360

Source: Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a, Based on own research of authors

In our research we have not analysed the reasons for which were particular debt relief proposals approved or refused. However we can see that the number of refused proposals is higher in the capital city, even though the overall number of proposals was higher in South Bohemian region.

4.1. Comparison of level of achieved education of debtors.

One of the key information which has been analysed during the research was the level of education of every debtor, mainly whether they successfully achieved at least some university degree. In Figure 3 nad Figure 4 the distribution of debtors according to this fact is shown.

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 3: Level of Education in the South Bohemian Region

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 4: Level of education in Prague

Figure 3 and Figure 4 both illustrates that there is significant domination of debtors who did not achieve any sort of university degree. However there is slight difference between both regions, in the capital city there were 3 % of debtors with university degree, whereas in South Bohemian Region only 1 % of debtors were university graduates. This could be explained by overall higher proportion of graduates among population in Prague. On other hand in countries such as United States where student loans are considered quite common, the number of university graduates tends to be higher (Field, Bauman, 2014)

4.2. Comparison of age of debtors

Our research indicates that as people get older they become more predisposed to fall into problems with indebtedness. In both regions the most frequent age groups were three oldest groups. However the most vulnerable group seems to be the age group 35-44, which is the most significant group in both regions by far and consists of almost on third of all debtors in both cases. It is important to state that the oldest group does not have the upper age limit, which makes this group more significant every year according to the fact that the population is getting older. Figure 5 and Figure 6 illustrate the distribution of debtors according to their age.

15-24______25-29

55+ F A

24% 30-34

45-54 35-44

24% 29%

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 5: Distribution of debtors according to their age in the South Bohemian Region

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 6: Distribution of debtors according to their age in Prague

Both figures show that in this regard both regions seem to have adequate outcomes and there are not significant differences.

4.3. Comparison of gender of debtors

It is likely that the gender should not be a very significant reason for a different attitude towards getting indebted so much that a person needs to apply for a debt relief.

Fig. 7: Distribution of debtors according to their gender in Prague

Fig. 8: Distribution of debtors according to their gender in South Bohemian Region

Both figures show that as there were not significant differences between both regions regarding the age of debtors, this applies for their gender as well, even though in the region of Prague there were slightly more women among the debtors than in the South Bohemian Region. Results however indicate, that there are more women among the debtors than men. Reasons for this occurrence are yet unknown, as this research aims only to analyse the structure of the debtors, it does not try to explain its findings, however in the future this phenomena might be researched more profoundly. On the other hand the differences between genders are not higher than 6 percent.

4.4. Comparison of income of debtors

Apart from age and gender also the comparison of net incomes of debtors is presented in this paper. As it is illustrated below, in both regions are most frequent income groups 10 - 15 TCZK and 15 - 25 TCZK. Income group involving debtors with net income lower than 5 TCZK per month is very small; this might be explained by the fact that for a debtor to successfully apply for a personal bankruptcy, they need to convince the court that they are able to repay at least some of their debt. That is definitely harder to do with only limited income. On the other the income group which consists of debtor with net income higher than 35 TCZK per month is also very rare. That might be explained by the fact that such debtors are usually able to repay their personal debts without the necessity to apply for a debt relief.

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 9: The structure of debtors according to their income in South Bohemian Region

In the South Bohemian Region it is clearly visible that the income groups 10 - 15 TCZK and 15 - 25 TCZK are most common and consist of more than 78% of debtors. Quite significant is also the group 5 - 10 TCZK. Other income groups are negligible. This is even more obvious in the capital city, where these two groups consist of more than 82% of debtors. However in Prague is the most significant income group 15 - 25 TCZK, which involves almost half of all debtors. In South Bohemian Region is the largest the group of 10 - 15 TCZK per month.

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 10: The structure of debtors according to their income in Prague

This difference could be explained by the fact that in Prague are higher average salaries than in other regions of the Czech Republic, such as the South Bohemian Region.

4.5. Comparison of the overall amount of debt of debtors

In this last section the overall debt of debtors is going to be compared. Figure 11 and Figure 12 illustrate the distribution of debtors according to these criteria in both regions.

1.500 -2.000 More than

TCZK \ 3% 2.000 TCZK

1000 - 1 500 J /0 TCZK 3^^_Less than 200 TCZK

9% 12% __200 - 500

500 - 1.000 J TCZK TCZK 41%

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 11 Distribution of debtors according to the amount of their debt in the South Bohemian Region

As Figure 11 shows, in the South Bohemian Region the most frequent are debtors with debt between 200 and 500 TCZK. The second largest group are the debtors with debt between 500 - 1.000 TCZK. It appears quite logical that other groups are not so frequent, as with small debt debtor usually does not need debt relief to be able to repay it, and with larger debts the debtors are less likely to be able to repay the obligatory part of the debt as set by the debt relief rules.

1.500-2.000

.More than 2.000

1.000 - 1.500 TCZK 10%

Source: based on own research of authors (Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, 2014a)

Fig. 12 Distribution of debtors according to the amount of their debt in Prague

In the capital city the same two groups are most frequent. There are however some differences worth mentioning. The highest difference is in the amount of debtors in the group 500 - 1.000 TCZK. In Prague there is 37% of debtors, whereas in the South Bohemian Region only 32%. This might correspond to the higher average salary of the debtors from the capital city.

Our research has shown that as two quite comparable regions has been chosen for this comparison, the outcomes of the research in both regions are not very different. We consider our findings to be quite expectable, as the most significant differences lie mainly in the level of education of the debtors, their income and the overall amount of debt. We consider these differences to be mainly the consequence of general demographic and economic characteristics. Probably the outcome of our comparison which is worth mentioning the most is the fact that even though the South Bohemian Region has far less residents than the capital city, the amount of personal bankruptcies is nevertheless much higher. This means that in the South Bohemian Region the ratio of personal bankruptcies per capita tends to be far worse than in the Capital city of Prague.

Acknowledgement

This article has been written as one of the outcomes of project number F1/100/2014 with the assistance of the Internal Grant Agency of the University of Economics in Prague.

Czech National Bank, Czech Republic, 2015. DatabaseARAD. [online]. Czech Statistical Office, Czech Republic,2015. Public database. [online].

Efrat, R., 2002. Global trends in personal bankruptcy. The American Bankruptcy Law Journal, [online] 76(1).

Federal Judicial Center, The establishment of Bankruptcy Courts: An act to establish an uniform Law on the subjekt of bankruptcies. [online]. Field, K. - Bauman, D., 2014. The Pitch: Debt Relief. The Reality: Borrowers May Well Pay More. In: Chronicle Of Higher Education. [online].

60, 44, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, A4-A8 Frelichova, K., 2008. Oddluzeni neboli osobni bankrot. In: Aplikovane pravo Insolvency Act 2008. (law no. 182/2006 Sb.) Prague: MVCR

5. Conclusion

References

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Izäk, V., 2014. Private and Public Debt. In: European Financial and Accounting Journal. [online]. vol. 9, no. 1, 4-21. Ministry of Justice, Czech Republic, 2014a. Insolvency Register. [online]. Ministry of Justice, Czech Republic, 2014b. Expertni skupina — Statistiky. [online].

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in Economic Research. [online]. Springer US. Raban, P., 2002. Moderni pojeti konkursu a jeho obraz v nekterych svetovych insolvencnich systemech. Pravni rozhledy, 429 - 441.