New debt report exposes Scotland’s personal insolvency ‘hotspots’

June 4, 2014

A brand new report by debt help website Scotland Debt Solutions has revealed the hotspots for sequestrations and trust deeds are in Scotland’s smaller rural towns rather than in its largest cities.

Click visual below for infographic.SDS-Scotlands-Personal-Insolvency-Hotspots

The first survey of its kind, the quarterly Scotland Debt Report details the levels and concentration of new personal insolvency cases in Scotland, including trust deeds and sequestrations in the year to 31 March 2014.

The Scotland Debt Report data names former steel working town Kilbirnie in North Ayrshire as the town (over 5,000 population) with the highest level of personal insolvency in the past 12 months, with 71 new cases per 10,000 adult population, almost three times higher than the Scottish average of just 25 per 10,000 adults.

Clydebank and Gorebridge were the second and third highest with levels of 70 and 68 new cases per 10,000 adults in the year to 31 March 2014.

Among the Scottish towns and locations with the lowest levels of personal insolvency was Keith, at just eight cases per 10,000 adults; with Dunblane, Jedburgh, Orkney and Westhill sharing the second lowest position with just ten new insolvencies per 10,000 adults.

Of the towns and cities in Scotland with a population of over 75,000, the league table showed Paisley with the most cases (46 per 10,000); Glasgow in sixth position (36 per 10,000); and Edinburgh in ninth place with just 20 new cases per 10,000 of population.

Ten worst Scottish towns for personal insolvencyTen best Scottish towns for personal insolvency
1 Kilbirnie1 Keith
2 Clydebank2 Dunblane
3 Gorebridge3 Jedburgh
4 Alness4 Orkney
5 Carluke5 Westhill
6 Dumbarton6 Bearsden
7 Tranent7 Isle Of Lewis
8 Alexandria, Arrochar8 Stonehaven
9 Bonnybridge9 Banchory
10 Larkhall10 Kirkwall

“We know that personal insolvency is a widespread issue, and that it may come as a surprise to many that it affects middle class just as much as working class people,” said John Baird of, the number of new personal insolvency cases has been falling over the last five consecutive quarters, although John Baird of  warns this trend may be distorted by increased borrowing from payday loan providers that will delay rather than prevent trust deeds and sequestrations.

“What is worrying is that while there are high levels are of personal insolvency where you would expect, in deprived inner city areas, this research shows that the highest concentrations are in smaller sometimes rural areas, where there is usually much less local access to support and advice as well as limited employment opportunities,” he said.

“Early action by people who are becoming overwhelmed by debt is the only way to head off potential legal action. There are expert sources of debt advice online where people facing debt can search for guidance and even speak with specialist advisers on the phone, and it is crucial that, wherever in Scotland people live, they don’t feel isolated from help and support if they are in financial trouble,” added John Baird.

In total there were 13,315 new cases of personal insolvency in Scotland in the 12 months to 31 March 2014, down 5% from 13,991 in the year to 31 December and down 21% from 16,769 new cases in the 12 months to 31 March 2013.

“Falling levels of new cases is, on the face of it, a good thing and we welcome this, but with some reservations about factors that can mask the underlying trends,” explained John Baird of

“The availability of payday loans and the rise in high interest high temporary lending, with costly administration charges, has undoubtedly postponed the inevitable for some people.  In fact, high APR borrowing effectively reduces the income of borrowers and in the end leaves them with more debt, making them more likely to face insolvency,” he said.

“We have seen an increase in demand for debt consolidation loans in Scotland that could also be pushing back the immediate pressure on household finances but only temporarily.  In addition, recent rises in property values in Scotland may contribute as people are able to realise some of their capital to pay off unserviceable loans, but this doesn’t address the underlying issue of rising debt and disguises the true picture.”

Click here to see the Scotland Debt Solutions Report

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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