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

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

Statutory moratorium on diligence

A moratorium provides protection from creditor debt enforcement. This protection is available to individuals as well as the following entities:

  • a trust in respect of debts incurred by it
  • a partnership (including a dissolved partnership)
  • a corporate body
  • an unincorporated body
  • a limited partnership (including a dissolved limited partnership) within the meaning of the Limited Partnerships Act 1907

Individuals can request a moratorium if they need a period of breathing space. This allows them time to consider whether to apply for a statutory debt solution.

The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 extended the duration of the moratorium from six weeks to six months. The rule prohibiting more than one moratorium in any 12-month period was also temporarily set aside. This was reinforced on 01 October 2021. Now, moratorium protection cannot be provided where an application has been made in the previous 12 months.

The Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Act fixes the period of protection at 6 months. This continues the enhanced protection introduced temporarily by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. This commenced on 01 October 2022.

There were 842 (debtor and entity) applications for moratoria granted in 2023-24 Q3. This is an increase of 7.3% when compared with the same quarter in 2022-23.

Levels of moratoriums on diligence remain higher than pre-pandemic levels

Chart 6: Statutory moratorium on diligence granted Apr-Jun 2015 to Oct-Dec 2023

Chart 6 shows the number of statutory moratorium on diligence granted between 2015-16 Q1 and 2023-24 Q3. This chart shows that depite a recent fall, the levels of moratoriums on diligence remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.


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