NOVEMBER 2016 - Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016
On 30 November 2016, the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 (“BSA16”) and its supporting regulations will come into force in Scotland. BSA16 is only the second piece of primary consolidation legislation to be considered by the Scottish Parliament. This much anticipated legislation, received Royal Assent on 28 April 2016 and will consolidate and modernise existing Scottish legislation. This includes the introduction of protected trust deeds regulations into primary legislation at Part 14, so that both sequestrations and trust deeds will be embodied in 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. Existing personal insolvencies will be administered under the existing provisions. Unlike the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act 2014 which was introduced on 1 April 2016, BSA16 does not change Scottish personal insolvency law, but it does provide it with a new, user friendly, coherent structure. This new structure fits in with the Scottish Government’s aim of making Scotland a world leader in Personal Insolvency and other debt solutions.
BSA16 is made up of 18 parts and moves logically through each statutory personal insolvency process which should ensure that Insolvency Practitioners, solicitors and those working in the wider Money Advice sector will be able to navigate the legislation quickly and efficiently to ensure those suffering financial difficulties can be advised concisely and timeously. Of course those of us used to dealing with the existing, much amended legislation will need to learn new section numbers and become familiar with the revised layout, but in the long term BSA16 will be sure to improve working practices. Very helpfully, in this regard the Accountant in Bankruptcy has issued Tables of Derivations and Destinations to assist with comparing the new legislation to the existing legislation, this is available at: www.aib.gov.uk. Moreover, it is expected that the Accountant in Bankruptcy’s new Notes for Guidance for Trustees in sequestrations and trust deeds will be released on 1 December 2016.
A couple of other points to note are that The Bankruptcy (Scotland) Regulations 2016 and The Protected Trust Deed (Forms) (Scotland) Regulations 2016 both introduce new form numbers (to replace existing ones) and have also tweaked the wording on forms such as the Statement of Claim forms to be sent to creditors going forward in both sequestrations and trust deeds, so please be aware that different forms will be applicable and must be used for new sequestrations and trust deeds from 30 November 2016.
If you have any queries regarding BSA16 and/or the supporting regulations, please click here to get in touch with our team.