Many English solicitors are mystified with Scotland’s procedures for the recovery of undisputed debt. This should not be the case. Like our English cousins, ultimately the process involves disposing of a debtor’s moveable property for auction and sale or to put it more prosaically “to convert the court’s judgement into cash”.
On 19 November 2019, Stephen Cowan presented a CPD webinar with The Sheriffs Office on the topic of cross-border enforcement between England & Wales and Scotland.
MMP Financial, trading as "My Money Partner" and "Swift Sterling", has gone into administration. Both businesses offered loans of up to £1,500 over periods ranging from two to seven months, with the entire process being completed online. "Piggybank" another short term lender, collapsed 24 hours prior to MMP Financial’s administration, leaving their 45,000 customers in a state of financial uncertainty. Piggybank offered loans of up to £1,000 to new customers for up to five months. Interest due on the borrowing would typically equate to an annual percentage rate (APR) of between 1,255% and 1,698%. In addition, in 2019 Wonga and Instant Cash Loans also collapsed.
The Times has reported that some of Britain’s largest retail stores are plunging shoppers into record levels of debt. The paper accuses the stores of allowing many shoppers easy access to credit facilities which charge up to 30% of interest on outstanding balances.
Citizens Advice Scotland have reported that debtors with combined arrears of £6.4 million of council tax debt problems have approached them. This represents arrears for 2018/19 with the level of individual indebtedness averaging £1,900 out of a total of 3,999 people seeking advice.
A Scottish Trust Deed is similar to bankruptcy but perhaps without all the bells and whistles. Once the debtor enters into a Protected Trust Deed (PTD) he is committed to an agreed payment schedule. Ultimately, creditors will receive a small percentage dividend although this can often be lower than what they will receive if the debtor had been made bankrupt.
Facing debt and cash flow problems is challenging for any business. However, where a debtor, supplier or client becomes insolvent, this could cause you great financial difficulty. In this post, we provide an overview of the signs that indicate a business may be approaching insolvency and set out the steps you can take to mitigate your losses.
UK debt charity, Step Change, has called on the next Government to commit to measures that will help people and businesses deal with debt. The measures proposed by Step Change include assigning an independent regulator for bailiffs and enforcement agents and creating legally binding practice standards for debt collection and enforcement.
Head of Policy, Research and Public Affairs at Step Change, Peter Tutton, said:
“It would be a tragedy for people in problem debt if the positive work in progress … got lost somewhere between this government and the next. So, we urge in the strongest possible terms that all the work in progress is carried over by the next government.”
A Russian utility company has come up with a novel way to ensure it gets paid on time. Essentially, they dump a pyramid, weighing no less than three tonnes, on your front lawn with a variety of messages.
The case of Sell Your Car With Us Ltd v Sareen, decided in the English High Court in 2019, is a timely reminder that insolvency proceedings can be used as a form of debt collection, even although some judges frown upon the practice.
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