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There has been an 11% drop in the number of debt cases raised in Scotland in the financial year 2012-13, compared to 2011-12, according to the latest statistics published by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

In total there were 35,900 debt cases raised – almost half the total number of civil law cases brought to court.

Debt cases have apparently been decreasing steadily since 2008-09. The Scottish Government suggests a number of possible reasons for this decline, including changes in types of borrowing, settlements out of court and perceived lower chances of recovering money.

Similarly, the number of all civil disputes in courts has fallen by 41% in four years to 77,500 in 2012-13. Cases dropped 9% since 2011-12.

“There has been a continuous decline in the number of civil law court cases, a trend driven by the drop in debt cases,” commented Scotland’s Chief Statistician, Roger Halliday. “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 statistics also revealed that nine in ten debt cases were not defended in court and more than half of debt cases were found in favour of the pursuer. Three in four debt cases were brought to court for claims up to £3,000.

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