Scotland’s Personal Insolvency Rates Down to Lowest Levels Since 2000
July 22, 2015
The number of Scottish men and women entering formal debt solutions has fallen to the lowest levels recorded in over 14 years.
According to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), there were fewer Scots pursuing sequestration or entering a Protected Trust Deed in the three months to the end of June this year than at any point since the year 2000.
In all, just 1,606 personal insolvencies were recorded in what the AiB reports as the first quarter of the full year 2015-16.
That figure is down by as much as 38.5 per cent on the previous three-month period and by a remarkable 45.8 per cent compared with the same quarter of last year.
“The numbers of people falling into financial difficulty and having to seek debt relief has been falling steadily for some time – and this is a welcome sign the Scottish economy is on the road to recovery,” said Fergus Ewing, business minster with the Scottish government.
Ewing went on to partially credit the new bankruptcy and debt legislation implemented across Scotland in April with having helped reduce the scale of formal insolvencies around the country.
“The Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act was developed following years of consultation with experts across the financial advice community and from studying how other nations deal with issues of personal debt,” he said.
“It is likely these changes have had a bearing on the statistics for the current quarter while the money advice and insolvency sectors familiarise themselves with the new regulations and processes.”
Among the recent rule changes was the stipulation that anyone seeking any form of statutory debt relief solution must be given financial advice to help them better understand the options available to them and the potential consequences in each case.
Other changes included the creation of a new form of bankruptcy designed specifically for people who have few assets and little income.
Despite the fact that the number of Scot’s entering Debt Arrangement Schemes fell in the three months to the end of June, the AiB reports that the amounts repaid through these schemes increased 11 per over the past year.
Meanwhile, the number of bankruptcies recorded in Scotland in the quarter fell by as much as 56.5 per cent as compared with the same period last year.
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