Back to the Scottish Parliament Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill - (SP Bill 32)
Archive Home

Business Bulletin 1999-2011

Minutes of Proceedings 1999-2011

Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

Annual reports

For information - the Bill has now been passed by the Parliament.  This webpage describes the Local Government and Communities Committee's work on the Bill.

Introduction

The Local Government and Communities Committee was the lead committee for the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill

Background

In January 2009, the Scottish Government set up a Debt Action Forum to examine current information and initiatives on debt relief, debt advice and repossessions.  A sub-group was then set up to look specifically at repossessions and both groups reported in June 2009.  The reports can be accessed via the following links:

http://www.aib.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/4/0000813.pdf

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/06/08164837/13

The Bill seeks to put into legislation some of the recommendations made by those groups, including:

  • making provision for all repossession cases to appear in court (except in cases of voluntary surrender);
  • requiring creditors to consider reasonable alternatives to repossession;
  • creating a further route into bankruptcy, where it is currently difficult for people to do this through existing routes;
  • amending the definition of trust deeds to exclude certain creditors or assets, such as the debtor’s home in relation to bankruptcy;
  • removing the requirement for notices of insolvency proceedings to be published in the Edinburgh Gazette.

Written Evidence

A call for written evidence was issued by the Local Government and Communities Committee for interested parties to submit their views on the proposals to deal with repossessions and debt contained in the Bill. 

The call for evidence is now closed.

Oral Evidence
At its meeting on 28 October 2009, the Committee took evidence on the repossession aspects of the Bill from:

Adrian Stalker, Advocate, Chair of the Repossessions Group;

David Forrester, McClure Naismith Solicitors, Finance and Leasing Association; and

Fiona Hoyle, Head of Consumer Finance and Anti-Fraud, Finance and Leasing Association.

At its meeting on 4 November 2009, the Committee took evidence on the bankruptcy aspects of the Bill from:

Rachel Grant, Partner, Brodies LLP, Law Society of Scotland;
Eric Leenders, Executive Director, British Bankers Association;
Maureen Leslie, Partner, MLM Insolvency LLP, Insolvency Practitioners Association; and
Blair Nimmo, Joint Administrator and Head of Restructuring, KPMG, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
 

At its meeting on 10 November 2009, the Committee took evidence on the general aspects of the Bill from:

Gavin Corbett, Policy Manager, Shelter;
Kennedy Foster, Policy Consultant Scotland, Council of Mortgage Lenders;
Keith Dryburgh, Social Policy Officer, Citizen's Advice Scotland;
Yvonne MacDermid, Chief Executive, Money Advice Scotland.

At its meeting on 11 November 2009, the Committee took evidence on the Bill from:

Alex Neil MSP, Minister for Housing and Communities;

Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety;

David Ferguson, Bill Manager, Constitution, Law and Courts Directorate, Scottish Government;

Colin Brown, Senior Principal Legal Officer, Scottish Government;

Stephen Sandham, Team Leader, Housing Access and Support Division, Scottish Government;

Rosemary Winter-Scott, Chief Executive, Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scottish Government;

Sharon Bell, Head of Policy Development Team, Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scottish Government;

John St Clair, Divisional Solicitor, Legal Directorate, Scottish Government.

Supplementary Evidence

Following the meeting on 11 November 2009, the following supplementary evidence and information was submitted:

The Minister for Housing and Communities also provided draft copies of SSIs relating to the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill.  These SSIs were in draft form and therefore may have been subject to revision.

Correspondence was received by the Finance Committee Clerks from the Scottish Government Bill team following their appearance at the Finance Committee meeting on 17 November 2009.

Stage 1 Report

The Committee published its Stage 1 report on the Bill on 10 December 2009.

Stage 1 Debate on the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill

Scottish Government Response

The Local Government and Communities Committee received the Scottish Government's response to its Stage 1 report on the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill on 15 January 2010.

Stage 2

Stage 2 proceedings were completed on 27 January 2010.

Stage 3 proceedings

Stage 3 proceedings on the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill took place on 11 February 2010.

Completed Business of the committee