|Alan McIntosh, Project Manager|
With personal insolvency law now increasingly complex and also being monetised by private sector firms seeking to charge clients, who are often vulnerable.Alan McIntosh, the Unit's Project Manager, said: "The Unit is coming along at a vital time for Scotland, as although personal insolvency is currently at a 14-year low, we can expect numbers to being rising again as consumer debt levels increase".
“In that environment, with many advice agencies, like Citizen Advice Bureaux and local authorities suffering cuts to their funding, we need to ensure there is a service where people can access specialist advice - not only as to when insolvency may or may not be the correct option for them - but also in relation to defending bankruptcy actions raised against them, as the consequence of this can often be families’ losing their homes”.
Mr McIntosh said: “Scotland’s bankruptcy laws have also gone through seismic change over the last 15 years, meaning they now impact on more people’s lives, with over 150,000 people in Scotland using a form of insolvency since 2008, but also the remedies are more accessible and this means the risks of people using the wrong solution have increased.”
“This risk has also grown with the removal of the courts from the process, which although generally is to be welcomed, does mean people need to step cautiously so they don’t casually walk into a formal remedy without first taking specialist advice.”
The unit opens for business on Monday 11 July 2016, and will provide advice to clients who:
- are already in a personal insolvency or formal debt remedy in Scotland
- are considering entering a personal insolvency remedy or are being made bankrupt by a creditor;
- have either been in a Protected Trust Deed or made bankrupt before in Scotland.
Alan McIntosh LLB (Hons) graduated from the University of Aberdeen and is an approved money adviser for the Debt Arrangement Scheme. He has worked in the Money Advice and Personal Insolvency industry in Scotland for over 15 years in various positions, including as a front line adviser, trainer and policy officer. He is also a Personal Insolvency Practitioner in the Republic of Ireland.