This is a dynamic time to be working as a practitioner in debt recovery – the new simple procedure has been in place for some time, and the Accountant in Bankruptcy has published its proposals on how to enhance and improve the Debt Arrangement Scheme. What’s more, the UK’s impending departure from the EU poses complications for existing regimes for debt recovery across jurisdictions.
It has been reported in ‘Scottish Financial News’ that Scots who pay off outstanding debts could continue to be penalised because the authorities are not being informed of payments, the Registry Trust says.
Most creditors are familiar with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 which entitles them to interest for late payments and the right to claim reasonable debt recovery costs, unless the supplier has acted unreasonably. In addition to the foregoing creditors can also charge compensation for the recovery of a debt. The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 provides “If the reasonable costs of the supplier in recovering the debt are not met by the fixed sum, the supplier shall be entitled to a sum equivalent to the difference between the fixed sum and those costs”.
Just to remind you that because the English debt pre-action protocols do not apply to Scotland you may find it quicker to commence litigation against Scottish debtors by instructing us direct.
As well as saving time – we can institute proceedings immediately – you can save money too! This is because the equivalent to English issues fees (we call them warrant dues) will be no greater than £120.00. For actions less than £5,000 they are lower than this.
And if you instruct Yuill + Kyle you can also ‘plug in’ to the ‘Scottish Judgment Centre’.
Before embarking on what is an unusual litigation let’s have a little reminder.
The key elements which have to exist for a contract to be binding are that:
the terms of the agreement are certain enough and sufficiently complete for it to be enforceable.
You know the old joke:
Q What is an insolvency practitioner?
A Someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the wounded.
Perhaps a little unfair and certainly so when it applies to U.S bankruptcy attorney Patricia Redmond.
Registry Trust has reported the number of debt decrees registered against Scottish businesses reached a record low during the first six months of the year.
There were 1,198 debt decrees registered against Scottish businesses in the first half of 2017, down a third on the previous year and the lowest on record. The total value of business decrees fell 55 percent to £7.6m and the average business decree was worth £6,342.
Ok – I really do apologise for the headline but I think it’s a good way to draw your attention to the Apologises (Scotland) Act 2016.
So it’s now official. You can apologise in Scotland for a mistake without the apology affecting your legal liability. The Act, which came into force in June 2017 provides that:
“In any legal proceedings … an apology made (outside the proceedings) in connection with any matter –
(a) is not admissible as evidence of anything relevant to the determination of liability in connection with that matter, and
(b) cannot be used in any other way to the prejudice of the person by or on behalf of whom the apology was made”.
Great emphasis has already been made about the use of statutory demands. They are best used for undisputed debts against Limited Companies and individuals as an alternative to litigation. Their popularity stems from the fact that they can be processed quicker than most court actions and often at a lesser cost. Remember that when a court action has to be raised money has to be paid into court. In Scotland these are known as ‘warrant dues’, in England issue fees.
Stephen Cowan Examines Changes to Court Procedures in Scotland when Recovering Debts
ON the 28 November 2016, Scotland’s court procedure to recover debts of less than £5,000 was radically altered. The old Summary Cause and Small Claims procedure has been swept away by new, more simple rules, with unrepresented litigants in mind. The new rules will allow the Sheriff to ‘take an interventionist approach to identify the issues, assist parties to settle if possible, and to determine how the case progresses.’
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