Official figures have shown that many more Scots have been declared insolvent this year compared to last year. Personal insolvencies have risen over the previous four years, with a total of 12,788 people facing bankruptcy or protected trust deeds (PTD) in 2018/2019. This was up by thousands compared to 10,602 people going bankrupt in the previous year.
There has been an 18.6 per cent rise in PTDs, which are formal, voluntary arrangements to transfer a person’s estate to creditors. However, traditional bankruptcies have actually fallen by 5.1 per cent.
“Vulnerable Debtor” is a phrase with which many in consumer debt recovery are familiar. Basically, it is a phrase which should alert a creditor to be cautious when attempting collection from a debtor who is “vulnerable”. Debtor vulnerability can take many forms and can display itself as a physical illness or where the debtor has psychological problems - often stress-related.
We are indeed indebted to Private Eye (no 1497) for drawing our attention to the latest Chinese concept for civil enforcement against defaulting debtors.
Late payments are a serious problem for Scottish and UK businesses. Research by accounting software company FreeAgent shows that two in five invoices issued by small companies were settled late in 2018. Free Agent used data from its 80,000-strong customer base to analyse late payment issues.
The Government have taken steps to tackle the late payment crisis, but there are a number of steps small businesses can take to mitigate the risk of late payment, which we have listed below.
The boss of the Association of British Insurers, Mark Shepherd, has said that the number of insurance claims made so far this year has reached its highest level in ten years. What has brought this on?
Small businesses are particularly at risk when it comes to unpaid debts. Even just a couple of late payments could put your business in a difficult situation, and as a result, it is essential that you take an active role in debt recovery. The process of debt recovery can be challenging and time-consuming, but unfortunately, for small businesses, a vital part of succeeding. While larger companies can afford to swallow losses, SMEs often simply do not have the money to ensure proper cash flow while carrying even smaller amounts of unpaid debt.
Consider the following scenario:
Joe Lollipop Limited has been trading for a number of years from 5 Glebe Street, Glasgow. This is also the company’s registered office.
A new report published by KPMG shows that one-in-ten Scottish firms show "zombie-like symptoms". But what does this mean and are 'zombie' firms a risk to other businesses?
The recent study by KPMG showed that 9% of the 1100 firms analysed in Scotland were under financial pressure. These so-called zombie firms suffered several difficulties, including static turnover, a decline in turnover, tight margins, limited ability to invest and high levels of debt. This figure was the highest of all UK nations.
Debt Advisory charity, StepChange has informed of the alarming number of Scots facing problem debts.
The charity helped 30,000 people in Scotland who were having difficulty with financial issues. Of that number, 46% were having problems with council tax arrears.
The report produced by the charity ‘Scotland in the Red’ highlighted that the cost of problem debt to the public was around £750million.
The issue of late payments is having a severe impact on UK businesses, with a recent estimate by QuickBooks highlighting that one-in-seven firms have been unable to pay their employees on time as a result of cash flow issues.
Some businesses have even had to turn down projects as a result of being unable to pay staff members to carry out the work, suffering a loss of around £26,000 on average.
Legal changes can have a dramatic impact on you and your business. To ensure you are kept up to date with the latest developments and have the knowledge to make timely, effective decisions, please sign up for our free updates.