The latest civil justice statistics, published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, have revealed a fall in the number of debt cases being considered by Scottish courts for the fifth year in a row.
According to the figures, there were 35,400 debt cases raised in 2013-14, a drop of 46% since 2008-09. Changes in types of borrowing, settlements out of court and perceived lower chances of recovering money are among the possible causes for the drop in cases brought to court.
There has also been an overall fall in the number of civil law cases initiated in Scottish courts, taking it to its lowest level for the past five years. There were 77,300 civil law cases raised in Scotland in the financial year 2013-14, a decrease of 41% since 2008-09, largely because the number of debt cases have nearly halved since then.
Despite the decline in debt cases, they still make up nearly half civil law cases in courts, followed by family disputes, eviction cases and personal injury claims.
The Scottish Crime and Justice Survey shows that nearly one in four adults has experienced at least one civil law problem in the last three years. The most common type of issue is disputes with neighbours, followed by problems with faulty goods and services, and then money and debt.
Nearly a third of personal injury cases were raised at the Court of Session, where they made up over three quarters of the cases in the General Department. The exclusive competence of the sheriff courts is set to rise on 22nd September 2015, which is expected to reduce the number of low value personal injury cases raised in the Court of Session.
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