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Personal insolvencies long-term decline continues

Published: 28 Oct 2015 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) today released official statistics reporting personal and company insolvencies in Scotland for the second quarter of 2015-16.

The number of bankruptcies awarded, PTDs registered and DAS approved totaled 2,686 in the second quarter of 2015-16. The number of people accessing statutory debt solutions in Scotland increased 25.7 per cent in the last quarter.

The second quarter of 2015-16 figures show that personal insolvencies, which include both bankruptcies and protected trust deeds (PTDs), increased 38.9 per cent from the previous quarter to 2,230.

Bankruptcies have fallen 41.7 per cent compared with the same quarter a year ago. This follows the long-term trend of decreasing numbers of personal insolvencies. A total of 965 bankruptcies were awarded this quarter, an increase of 27.5 per cent on the previous quarter. Following a bedding-in period of new legislation, the recent increase in bankruptcies awarded could represent a normalisation of the level of bankruptcies awarded after recent legislation changes.

On the other hand, the number of PTDs almost doubled last quarter; a total of 1,265 PTDs were recorded. Following the long-term trend of decreasing personal insolvencies, the latest figures are 5.4 per cent lower than the total recorded in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

There were over 14,000 live-cases in the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) at the end of second quarter of 2014-15; 2.4 per cent decrease on the previous quarter. The decrease in the number of live cases results from a combination of a 14 per cent decrease in the number of applications approved and a 19 per cent increase in the number of applications completed.

However the total amount paid through DAS continues to increase. A total of £9.6 million was paid back this quarter, an increase of 1.5 per cent.

The number of Scottish registered companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership decreased 8.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2015-16, with 180 companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership. This represents a decrease of 13.9 per cent on the same quarter in 2014-15. There were also 89 members' voluntary liquidations, which is considerably lower compared to previous quarters.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

A full statement of Scottish insolvency statistics for the second quarter of 2015-16 is available – http://www.aib.gov.uk/scottish-insolvency-statistics-2015-16-quarter-2-release

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About

Accountant in Bankruptcy supervises all personal insolvencies in Scotland and administers those bankruptcies where appointed. Insolvent individuals in Scotland are subject to bankruptcy (sequestration) or enter protected trust deeds (PTDs) under the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985. The 1985 Act was amended by the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1993 and on 1 April 2008, part 1 of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Act 2007 came into force making significant changes to some aspects of bankruptcy in Scotland. Changes included the introduction of LILA, a route into bankruptcy for people with low income and low assets. The changes also took a number of processes out of the Scottish Court system, reducing costs and freeing up court time.

Protected trust deeds (PTDs) are voluntary arrangements, where the debtor passes their estate to an insolvency practitioner who arranges to repay part of the debt to creditors on the debtor's behalf. This is similar to Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) in England and Wales; although there are important differences in the way they are set up and administered.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is administered by Accountant in Bankruptcy. Debt payment programmes approved under DAS allow individuals to repay their debts in full over an extended period of time whilst providing protection from enforcement by their creditors and safeguarding their home as long as mortgage payments are maintained. Further information on DAS, including a register of debt payment programmes, is available at https://www.dasscotland.gov.uk

Details of bankruptcies, PTDs, liquidations and receiverships are found on the register of insolvencies, which is maintained by Accountant in Bankruptcy and can be found at https://roi.aib.gov.uk/roi

Accountant in Bankruptcy is also responsible for receiving, extracting and recording information from certain forms relating to company liquidations and receiverships. The legislation appropriate to liquidations and receiverships is contained in the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Insolvency (Scotland) Rules 1986.

Further information regarding insolvency in Scotland, including legislation, can be found on the Accountant in Bankruptcy's website at www.aib.gov.uk