Dealing with Debt - in Scotland
The Scottish Parliament has issued a press release entitled "Dealing with Debt". The press release notes:
"Dealing with debt, 23/06/2009
Further measures will be taken to help Scots who are struggling to deal with debt. Responding to the report of the Debt Action Forum, Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said the Scottish Government would bring forward legislation to:
- Extend the protection offered to the family home in bankruptcy to protected trust deeds
- Extend the period for which a sheriff may postpone the sale of a family home from one to three years
- Introduce a requirement for trustees in bankruptcy and trust deeds to notify the local authority of the sale of a family home
- Allow the exclusion of specified assets from protected trust deeds
- Extend access to bankruptcy by allowing a certified route that is fair and open
- Exempt any essential vehicle valued at £3,000 or less from bankruptcy proceedings
- Introduce new grounds for bankruptcy restrictions to encourage debtors to take responsibility for their on going liabilities
- Remove the requirement to advertise bankruptcy in the Edinburgh Gazette
Mr Ewing said: "We are very grateful to the members of the Debt Action Forum for the time and effort they have put into the group. Some very helpful and positive areas came up for discussion. "The Debt Action Forum has provided a comprehensive review of the support and advice available for those who are unable to manage their debt. This has been food for thought for the Government. "Given the current economic downturn I am moving quickly to announce that we will bring forward legislation, at the earliest opportunity, to put into place some of the changes discussed by the group. "For example we will extend the protection that's given to the family home during bankruptcy to protected trust deeds. We will build on the success of the Low Income Low Asset route into bankruptcy and widen access to debt relief through bankruptcy by creating a certified route that is fair and open. "We will also put in place measures to protect cars, where the value doesn't exceed £3,000, from being sold by the trustee in bankruptcy to make sure that families are not unnecessarily deprived of their main method of transport. "In addition to this immediate programme of work, we recognise that some of the areas discussed by the Forum are more complex and need further consideration. That's why we will be consulting on a number of further changes. "Meanwhile the Scottish Government will continue to press the UK Government to take action on consumer credit, lending protocols and debt collection practices. "I hope these changes can help us ensure that as many Scots as possible receive the help and support they need while they are suffering under the strain of unmanageable debt."
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