Over 50 Scots a day going bankrupt, figures show

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MORE than 50 Scots a day are going bankrupt or being placed in official Government debt schemes, official statistics today show.

And the number of poorer, vulnerable people in this situation is on the rise.

But the overall decline of recent years in the number of debt-ridden Scots seeking help is continuing, along with a fall in the the amount of firms going bust, official statistics from Accountant in Bankruptcy showed.

There was a total of 3,335 personal insolvencies in Scotland between July and September last year. This is in line with a general decline since 2008-09.

The use of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), a Scottish Government debt management tool, continues to increase with 1,181 applications having been approved and a total of £7.7 million being repaid in this quarter.

Enterprise minister Fergus Ewing, said: “The overall demand for statutory debt solutions in Scotland continues to decline. The number of bankruptcies awarded in Scotland has been decreasing since 2008-09 and we expect this to continue.

“However, we must also recognise that - within this overall, decreasing trend – the proportion of people entering bankruptcy with little income and few assets is rising.”

Around half of all applications were made through the ‘Low Income, Low Asset’ route. This is a 7.9 percentage point increase, compared to the equivalent figure from last year.

Mr Ewing said Scotland’s bankruptcy laws must “do more to provide a safety net” for vulnerable, low-income debtors and their families.

“That is why we are introducing a new ‘Minimal Asset Process’ (MAP), which will provide quicker, cheaper and more effective debt relief to those who need it most,” he added.

The application fee for this scheme is also being cut by half.