Decrees against Scottish companies skyrocket

The number of debt decrees registered against Scottish companies sharply rose during the first quarter of 2018, according to figures released today by Registry Trust.

Registry Trust is the non-profit organisation which collects decree and judgment information from jurisdictions across the British Isles and Ireland. In Scotland it collects information on small claims, summary, ordinary cause and simple procedure sheriff’s court decrees. A decree is incontrovertible proof that debt has not been managed.

There were 750 decrees issued against all businesses in Scotland during Q1 2018, four percent more than during the same period of the previous year.

A massive 39 percent rise in the number of decrees issued against companies accounted for this increase; the number of decrees registered against the generally smaller, unincorporated businesses sharply decreased by 42 percent.

The rise in the number of decrees issued, coupled with a marginal one percent increase in average value caused the total value of business decrees to increase five percent.

During Q1 2018, 7,259 debt decrees were registered against Scottish consumers, six percent more than in Q1 2017. Despite rising in number, a 14 percent fall in average value led the combined value of all consumer decrees to drop nine percent compared to the first quarter of the year before.

A seven percent increase occurred in the number of consumer small claims and summary cause decrees issued. In contrast, the number of consumer ordinary cause decrees fell by seven percent.

Only 3.17 percent of decrees were marked as satisfied during Q1 2018, far lower than the 13.14 percent of satisfied debt judgments in England and Wales, where satisfaction rates are generally higher owing to legal differences.

Trust chairman Malcolm Hurlston CBE advised people who had paid back: “If you have satisfied a decree, tell Registry Trust and we shall let credit reference agencies know. Then you are likely to find borrowing easier and cheaper. You need to tell us, it doesn’t happen automatically. Fewer than a quarter of the people in Scotland who pay back are getting the recognition they deserve.”