What is the minimum amount of debt to file for bankruptcy in Scotland?

28 May2021

In Scotland, if you owe a minimum of 1,500 in unsecured debt that you can't afford to repay, you can apply for your own bankruptcy, but you still need to meet certain conditions to qualify.

According to the Accountant in Bankruptcy, the conditions you need to meet to qualify for bankruptcy are:

You must be a Scottish resident.

You can't have been made bankrupt in the last five years.


One of your lenders agrees to you making yourself bankrupt (creditor concurrence).


A lender has gone to court to obtain a ruling that you owe them money (apparent insolvency).

The other way to go bankrupt in Scotland is with the LILA route into bankruptcy - for people on a low income with low value assets, who cannot get creditor concurrence, or prove their apparent insolvency.

There is no minimum amount of debt to apply for the LILA route into bankruptcy, but you do need to meet the other criteria.

Click here to see if you qualify for LILA.

Other things to consider before applying for bankruptcy

Have you spoken to a debt adviser? Just because you're struggling with debt doesn't mean you have to apply for bankruptcy. There are alternatives. Bankruptcy can strip you of your assets and have all sorts of implications for your financial future - from the kind of bank account you can open to the kind of mortgage you can hope to find in the future. It will also have a big impact on your credit rating.

So, what are the alternatives?

In Scotland there are two other debt solutions that the Scottish Government introduced to help people with unsecured debt problems.

A Trust Deed is a three-year agreement to repay as much as you can to your lenders, and the rest of the debt is written off at the end. There is no minimum level of debt to enter into a Trust Deed, but it must be an amount that you can't afford to repay within a reasonable period of time. However, it is a form of insolvency and would be recorded on your credit file.

Click here to see whether you qualify for a Trust Deed.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme, or DAS, is a form of debt management. An adviser works out what you can afford to repay and puts you onto a Debt Payment Programme or DPP. This involves repaying as much as you can afford for as long as it takes to repay your unsecured debts in full. There is no minimum debt to start DAS, but you would have to demonstrate that you can't afford your existing debt repayments.

This too would have an impact on your credit rating, as you would no longer be making the debt repayments you originally agreed with your lenders.

Click here to find out if you qualify for DAS.

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Tags: debt, bankruptcy, Scotland, unsecured debt, bankruptcy, insolvency, LILA, trust deed, debt arrangement scheme, DAS, debt management, DPP, debt payment programme

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