Drop in Scottish Debt Actions

The number of court proceedings to recover debt have dropped by 45% since 2008 when the financial crisis started. The latest statistics published by the Scottish Government showed a drop of 11% in debt cases in 2012/13 as against 2011/12. Total cases in 2012/13 amounted to 35900, almost half the total number of civil cases raised in Scotland during the year. All civil court figures can be found in the Civil Law Statistics in Scotland 2012-13

A number of factors have been put forward for the drop in cases. Changes in types of borrowing, settlements out of court and perceived lower chances of recovering money are among the possible causes for the drop in cases brought to court. Similarly, the number of all civil disputes in courts has fallen by 41 per cent in four years to 77,500 in 2012-13. Cases dropped nine per cent since 2011-12.

Repossession and eviction cases have dropped by 47 per cent in four years to 5,400 and 10,500 respectively, in the financial year 2012-13. Repossessions have dropped 20 per cent and evictions 25 per cent since 2011-12.

Many business may be put off raising court actions by the lack of certainty of success, potential costs and the fear of long drawn out proceedings. There may be some comfort n the fact that 90% of cases were undefended and accordingly decrees were obtained reasonably in terms of cost and time.

Our debt recovery team are happy to advise on all aspects of court proceedings from the likelihood of success and the costs involved.