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April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The proposed changes, which are to be brought before Scottish Parliament later this year, are part of the drive to reform bankruptcy laws partially due to creditor complaints about how little money is being received by them compared to the insolvency practitioners that administer the trust deeds and sequestrations.
Normally, under the terms of a Trust Deed the client makes a monthly payment to an
insolvency practitioner, who deducts their fees and then distributes any funds remaining to creditors as part of the Trust Deed agreement. These fees are agreed at the start of the trust deed process and are based on an hourly rate. The insolvency practitioner must work to the agreed number of hours in order to claim in full. However, if additional work needs to be done beyond what was originally agreed there is scope for the fees to increase. Once the agreed period of the trust deed has elapsed and the debtor has made all the required payments the rest of the debt is formally written off. In many instances this has been up to 70% of the debt.
The new proposals will change all of this. Insolvency Practitioner's will be expected to agree a single initial fee for
setting up a trust deed, with their ongoing administration fees covered by a percentage of funds recovered on behalf of the creditors. Any additional work that incurs extra fees will have to be approved by creditors or by the Accountant in Bankruptcy. This will ensure creditors will receive the maximum possible amount of the money they are owed.
However the changes to the fee structure are not the only ones that could insolvency practitioners losing out.
Couples will be able to have joint Protected Trust Deeds, which is in contrast to the current rules which force each individual to have their own, despite their finances being part of a joint pot. This will result in the reduction of the fees charged overall by up to half and allow a couple to manage their financial affairs on an equitable joint basis.