Blog: The new Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 – what it means for the insolvency sector



Judith Howson
Judith Howson

Judith Howson, Business Recovery Manager at French Duncan, provides some background on the new legislation and what it means for Scotland.

 

On 30 November 2016, the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 (BSA16) and its supporting regulations will come into force in Scotland.

This much-anticipated Act, which received Royal Assent on 28 April 2016, will fit in with the Scottish Government’s aim of making Scotland a world leader in personal insolvency and other debt solutions.

The new Act provides a succinct, coherent and easy to understand piece of legislation and brings all personal insolvency legislation into the same Act. BSA16 will apply to all sequestrations petitioned for, or applied for, on or after 30 November 2016 and all trust deeds granted on or after 30 November 2016.  In simple terms, it relates to personal insolvency matters and therefore only affects individuals with consumer and other debts, sole traders and partnerships.

In essence the new legislation takes all of the pieces of existing legislation including the 1985 Bankruptcy Act, all amendments since then and all the personal insolvency legislation introduced and repealed and puts them into a coherent and more succinct, streamlined and logical act which will be easier for all professionals, money advisors and solicitors to read.

While BSA16 does not change Scottish personal insolvency law, it does provide it with a new, user friendly, coherent structure.  The new Act is made up of 18 parts and moves logically through each statutory personal insolvency process which should help to ensure that insolvency practitioners, solicitors and those working in the wider money advice sector will be able to navigate the legislation quickly and efficiently.

This will subsequently help to ensure that those suffering financial difficulties can be advised concisely and timeously.

There is no doubt that BSA16 will be sure to improve working practices in the long term. Helpfully, the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB) has also issued tables of derivations and destinations to assist with comparing the new legislation to the existing legislation which is available at www.aib.gov.uk.