Sharon McDougall - 27th March 2020 - 2 minutes to read
The Scottish government has taken a series of steps that it hopes will help to ease some of the financial pressures being felt by people with debt problems across the country.
Among the newly introduced measures are rules that should make it easier for people who need legal protections from their creditors to access it by swiftly entering bankruptcy.
The Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), which deals with most cases of bankruptcy in Scotland, has also said that it will be suspending actions relating to the division and sale of properties while the coronavirus outbreak persists.
Plus, property evictions that might otherwise have been made necessary by insolvency situations have now officially been put on hold for the foreseeable future.
Beyond that, the Scottish government has said it wants to see banks and insurance companies, as well as its own departments, making efforts to be “flexible and compassionate wherever possible” as they deal with people who’ve been hit financially by the coronavirus outbreak.
Part of that effort should include mortgage holidays for anyone who’s struggling to pay those costs and repayment timescales being extended for people in persistent credit card debt, the government says.
“This will help reduce the pressure on individuals facing financial difficulties caused or made worse by the current crisis, and we are actively considering what more we can do to help,” said business minister Jamie Hepburn.
The AiB has also revised its policies relating specifically to Debt Arrangement Schemes with the effect being that DAS schemes will not be revoked if due payments are missed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is an exceptional measure and we hope this brings peace of mind to DAS clients,” the AiB said in statement.
Ms Hepburn from the Scottish government said: “This pandemic will have severe economic consequences and we are treating it as an economic emergency, affecting everyone from the largest conglomerates to small businesses and individuals.”
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