The number of people entering some form of personal insolvency across Scotland increased by as much as 20.6 per cent between last year and this year.
That’s according to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), which has revealed that 12,788 people living in Scotland entered either bankruptcy or a protected trust deed (PTD) over the course of 2018/19.
PTDs have been cited by the AiB as the main driver of the growth in insolvencies in Scotland in the past year, with a 32.8 per cent increase reported in the number of people entering trust deeds this year compared to last.
In addition to the two official forms of insolvency available to people with problem debts in Scotland, the AiB also records the number of debt payment programmes (DPP) that are formally entered into under the terms of Debt Arrangement Schemes (DAS).
There were a total of 2,544 DPPs approved through DAS across the country during 2018/19, which represents an increase of 226 from the previous year.
According to the AiB’s data, personal insolvency rates in Scotland have now increased in each of the past three years.
However, the organisation says that personal insolvency rates in terms of the raw numbers involved were considerably higher between 2007/8 and 2013/14 than they are now.
Politicians including the Scottish government’s business minister Jamie Hepburn have blamed rises in personal insolvency rates partly on Brexit-related uncertainty and partly on problems associated with Universal Credit.
Mr Hepburn is quoted in the Scotsman as saying: “These statistics shed further light on the issues of problem debt, the continuing economic uncertainty associated with Brexit and the unresolved problems with universal credit.
“I am encouraged to see that more people struggling with unsustainable debt are accessing the Debt Arrangement Scheme.
“This provides for controlled repayment of debt without fear of further recovery action being taken and is a good option for those who are in a position to make payments towards debt.”
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