(122)  The future of diligence

The recommendations of the working group set up by the Minister of Justice to consider replacements for the soon to be abolished poinding and warrant sale procedure (see Nos 90 and 113 below) were published on 6 July 2001, in a document entitled Striking a Balance: a new approach to debt management. The report calls for the national provision of debt information and advice, the establishment of a statutory debt arrangement scheme, the encouragement of negotiated debt settlements, and for the use of enforcement procedures only against those who can, but will not, pay their debts. A compulsory sale order will be available against persons who can pay but who unreasonably refuse to sell valuable, non-essential goods to meet their obligations. There will now be a period of consultation. Tommy Sheridan MSP has described the report as a fraud and a disgrace, and as the reintroduction of warrant sales by the back door (Scotsman, 7/7/01).