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Scottish Statutory Debt Solutions Statistics: October to December 2023 (2023-24 Quarter 3)

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

Glossary of key terms


Any person who owes money to another.


Any person, business or organisation that is owed money by another.


(Also known as sequestration in Scotland) is a legal declaration that someone cannot pay their debts. If a person is declared bankrupt, control of things that they own is passed to a trustee who may sell them to pay money owed to creditors. A regular payment from a person’s income may also have to be made.

Protected Trust Deed (PTD)

A form of insolvency that transfers a debtor’s estate to a trustee to be realised for the benefit of creditors.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Scottish Government debt management tool. Allows a debtor to repay their debts through a Debt Payment Programme. This gives more time for repayments, free from the threat of enforcement (diligence) or bankruptcy.

Moratorium on diligence

A protection from creditor debt enforcement. This protection is available to individuals as well as certain entities.

Insolvency practitioner

A person (usually, but not necessarily, a chartered accountant) licensed and authorised to act as a trustee in sequestrations or trust deeds.


A person who administers a bankruptcy or trust deed. In sequestrations, a trustee can be either the AiB or a private insolvency practitioner. In trust deeds, trustees must be an insolvency practitioner.

Receivership appointments

A receiver is appointed by a lender holding a charge over some or all of the company’s assets. The main responsibilities of a receiver are to ensure the appointing lender is paid.

Compulsory liquidation

Or winding up by the court is a procedure by which the assets of a company are sold, and the net free proceeds are distributed to the company’s creditors. A court order is required to put a company into compulsory liquidation.

Creditors’ voluntary liquidation

A director can propose a creditors’ voluntary liquidation if the company can’t pay its debts (it’s ‘insolvent’) or enough shareholders agree. This means the company will stop trading and be liquidated (‘wound up’). The assets of the company are sold and the net free proceeds are distributed to the company’s creditors.

Members’ voluntary liquidation

The shareholders of a solvent company pass a voluntary winding up resolution and appoint a liquidator. The liquidator will realise the assets of the business in order to distribute the proceeds to company members. A company is considered legally solvent when it is able to meet its financial obligations and the value of its assets. The company must be in a position to pay its debts in full.

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