Over-indebtedness: the filing of files in sharp decline in 2020 – economy


The number of over-indebtedness files filed with the Banque de France decreased by 24% in 2020. With “only” 109,000 files filed this year, in terms of household over-indebtedness, our country is back to a level never seen since the 1990s.

Real estate debt is not decreasing

Helping exceptional support measures, the scourge of over-indebtedness declined considerably in 2020 in France. If the phenomenon was already in continuous decline (-9% per year on average between 2014 and 2019), 2020 was the year of a sudden drop: -24%, or 109,000 files “only” filed on the whole of the year.

Real estate debt remained stable in 2020. Average debt excluding real estate, on the other hand, increased by more than 3%, or more than 900 euros per household, compared to 2019.

Consumer debt, the leading cause of over-indebtedness

The overall indebtedness of over-indebted households who filed a case in 2020 stands at 4.8 billion euros. Consumer debts still constitute the major part of debts (37%), followed by real estate debts (34%), debts of current charges (13%), the rest corresponding to other debts.

So who are these over-indebted people in 2020? These are often single adults and single-parent women. Employees, workers and people without professional activity are over-represented in relation to their share in the French population. 26% of over-indebted people (debtors and co-debtors) are unemployed. As for their resources, 57% of people living in over-indebted households (including dependent children) have a standard of living below the poverty line (compared to 15% for the entire French population).

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