PERSONAL insolvencies are at their lowest level in nearly a decade as people increasingly turn to government payment programmes to manage their debts.
Personal insolvencies, which include bankruptcies and protected trust deeds (PTDs), are down by more than a quarter compared with the same period of the previous year to 2,968 - the lowest recorded total since the first quarter of 2005-06.
Government debt payment programmes (DPPs), which allow people to pay their debt over a longer period, have now become more popular than PTDs, where a debtor transfers their estate to a trustee to avoid bankruptcy.
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There were 1,261 DPPs approved in the first three months of 2014/15, up by a quarter on the previous three months and the second highest level since it was introduced in 2004. PTDs are down by two-fifths on the first quarter of 2014/15 to 1,212, the lowest quarterly total since DPPs were introduced.
Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said: "It is gratifying to see an increased uptake on the debt payment programme.
"This highlights that DPPs have opened up a whole new avenue for debtors. The continued reduction in personal insolvencies is also very welcome.
"A total of £8.6 million has been repaid through DPP this quarter. This figure is particularly encouraging as the Scottish Government continues to work towards creating 'Scotland's Financial Health Service', with DPP being one of the first building blocks towards creating that."