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.
Charles Dickens is a British institution. His serial writings had a significant impact on the social consciences of the day, often highlighting the poverty and other hardships which existed in the early part of the 19th century. This may be hardly surprising as his books often drew from his own personal experiences. Born in 1812, his father, John Dickens, was a clerk in the Royal Navy. Aged only 12, the young Charles was sent out to work at a boot-blacking factory after his father had been imprisoned in Marshalsea debtors’ prison as a result of a £40.00 debt which he had failed to repay. This real life experience was fictionalised in the book, “Little Dorrit”.
According to the latest analysis from KPMG, the number of companies in Scotland declaring insolvency has risen by 46% in six months. Experts at KPMG have attributed the dramatic rise to instability in the current economy, particularly pointing to Brexit as a leading factor.
Head of restructuring, at KPMG, Blair Nimmo said:
"The ongoing Brexit discussions and change of Prime Minister and Cabinet have undoubtedly created a climate of uncertainty, but there are wider challenges at play, creating a toxic mix of issues for businesses going through a period of distress."
The analysis highlighted that there had been 698 corporate insolvency appointments in the period running from January 2019- June 2019. In the preceding six-month period, there were 479 corporate insolvency appointments.
Many business owners are unaware of the different limitation periods for reclaiming debts in Scotland and England. Failure to observe these strict time limits could make all the difference to the success of your business or have severe repercussions for cash flow and even solvency. Many business owners believe that the limitation periods for debt is the same in the two jurisdictions, but in Scotland, the limitation is five years, whereas in England it is six years. Business owners and teams managing the debts and cash flow of the business need to be aware of these time limits and the laws which govern their contracts with clients.
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