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Debt falls for smaller businesses

10 August 2017 Written by Yuill & Kyle Solicitors Category: Blog

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.

There was no change in the number of decrees against companies between the first half of 2017 and the first half of 2016. There was a 56 percent fall, however, in the number of decrees against the generally much smaller unincorporated businesses.

The average corporate judgment decreased 52 percent to £8,140; the average non-corporate judgment fell 15 percent to £3,518.

“Scottish business can take heart from these figures,” said Registry Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE. “If they need to expand they may well have the borrowing capacity.”  

Registry Trust holds a public register of Scottish decrees. By agreement with the Scottish Courts Administration Service it collects details of undefended money decrees entered in the small claims, summary and ordinary causes sheriffs’ courts in Scotland.

From November 28 2016, a change to Scottish law was evoked whereby ‘simple procedure’ replaced the previous small claims procedure and part of the summary cause procedure. Simple procedure is a court process designed to provide a speedy, inexpensive and informal way to resolve disputes where the monetary value does not exceed £5,000.

Decrees are removed from the register if paid in full within one calendar month of the issue date and Registry Trust is informed, but will otherwise remain registered for six years. If fully paid outside the one calendar month, the defendant can apply to have the record marked as ‘satisfied’, which will have a positive effect on most credit scores. Failure to pay within one month is proof of unmanaged debt.


Decrees against all businesses Q1 and Q2 2017 (compared with Q1 and Q2 2016)

  • Total: 1,198 (down 33 percent)
  • Value: £7.6m (down 55 percent)
  • Average: £6,342 (down 33 percent)

Decrees against incorporated businesses Q1 and Q2 2017

  • Total: 732 (no change)
  • Value: £6m (down 52 percent)
  • Average: £8,140 (down 52 percent)

Decrees against unincorporated businesses Q1 and Q2 2017

  • Total: 466 (down 56 percent)
  • Value: £1.6m (down 62 percent)
  • Average: £3,518 (down 15 percent)


For more information please email Stephen Cowan on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call him on 0141 572 4251 and he'll be happy to help



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