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Insolvency figures - 'every case a personal tragedy'

Citizens Advice Scotland have said too many Scots are facing bankruptcy and unmanageable debt, and have urged those who are struggling to get advice before making any major decisions about their finances.

Accountant in Bankruptcy have revealed today that there were 4,664 cases of insolvency in Scotland in the third quarter of 2011/12. This is a 13% decrease on the previous quarter, but a 2% increase on the same period the previous year.

CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee said:

“The point about these figures is that there are too many people struggling. Whether it’s more or less than the period before depends on which period you choose to look at. The real point is that 4664 is too many, and every individual case is a personal tragedy and a family whose finances have been wrecked – with all the stress and misery that comes with that.

“Nobody wants to become bankrupt. It is not a soft option, and never an easy decision for anyone. Unfortunately, for many people at the moment, their finances are in such a bad way that it is their only realistic option.

“What is vital is that people get advice before they take such a course. After all, there may be other courses of action available, and even if you do opt for insolvency you need expert help to guide you through the process. CAB advice is free, impartial and confidential. And sadly our advisers are now very experienced in dealing with cases of people who are in real financial trouble.

“So we will continue to do all we can to help those who are affected. But figures like these underline the need for continued funding for quality advice services like the CAB. Last year Scottish CAB advisers dealt with 400 debt cases every day of the year. In many of those cases we were able to steer people away from insolvency, so without our help these figures could be even worse.”

For more information please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010 or 07774 751655.