Page last updated at 00:16 GMT, Friday, 2 January 2009

Scots bankruptcy rise predicted

The accountants said it believed the situation would get worse.

More than 25,000 Scots could be made bankrupt in 2009, according to a firm of accountants and business advisers.

PKF said when the final figures for 2008 are calculated more than 20,000 Scots will be subject to sequestration or a Protected Trust Deed (PTD).

The accountants believe that the situation is going to get worse in 2009 as the full impact of the credit crunch continues and unemployment rises.

It said the figures showed an "astonishing level of indebtedness".

Bryan Jackson, corporate recovery partner with PKF, added: "What is more remarkable is that we are in the early stages of the recession and yet already we are seeing so many people unable to cope financially and taking the drastic step of being made bankrupt."

He said: "This is a clear indication that, over the last few years, there has been a degree of unreality about the way people have financed their lives."

In the first three quarters of 2008 a total of 14,008 Scots were made bankrupt which was already higher than the total figure for the whole of 2007.

The firm then analysed the most recent data from the Edinburgh Gazette, the official journal of insolvency where all personal bankruptcies must be listed, and found that in the three weeks before Christmas there were 1,661 sequestrations and 657 protected trust deeds taken out.

The firm said these figures indicate that the situation was getting worse rather than better.

Sequestration is the Scottish legal term for personal bankruptcy.

It involves the transfer of assets and property into the hands of a trustee for the benefit of the lenders.

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