The latest statistics from Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) show an increase in personal insolvencies driven by more people entering protected trust deeds (PTDs) – a voluntary debt solution that combines multiple debts into a single payment.
In the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 there were 2,336 PTDs registered, an increase of 18.6% from the same quarter in the previous year. This accounts for two-thirds of all personal insolvencies during the quarter.
Bankruptcy awards are down 5.1% on the same period a year ago with 1,184 registered the quarter. This is 63 fewer than the same quarter last year, with 83.9% of all awards arising from self-nominated bankruptcy applications.
Corporate insolvencies recorded in the quarter are 2.4% down from the same quarter last year with 239 company liquidations recorded.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), the Scottish Government’s statutory debt repayment scheme which allows individuals to get back on track without insolvency, has also recorded a 14.2% increase compared to last year, with 738 payment programmes approved.
Commenting on the latest figures, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said:
“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.
“But good advice is key to unlocking the right solution. The Scottish Government urges those in financial difficulty to obtain money advice at the earliest oppertunity in order to ease the burden and stress associated with problem debt.”
A full statement of Scotland’s insolvency statistics for the first quarter of 2019-20 is available.
AiB reports on the number of corporate insolvencies and member voluntary liquidations logged. As a consequence of the time taken between the date a corporate insolvency is awarded or a member voluntary liquidation is registered and when AiB receives notice, the figures may not exactly reflect the number of corporate insolvencies awarded or member voluntary liquidations registered during a quarter.
Further information regarding insolvency in Scotland, including legislation, can be found on the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s website.
The Scottish Government’s response to the recent consultation on reforms to the Debt Arrangement Scheme is available here. A consultation on protected trust deed reforms closed on 19 April and Minsters will bring forward proposals to enhance proposals to further enhance these schemes shortly.
Allan Holmes, Web Development & Communications Officer, Accountant in Bankruptcy
Telephone: 0300 200 2629