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The Edinburgh Gazette and Trust Deeds– thwarting a social stigma

Setting up a trust Deed set up can be a relatively straight-forward process, but many people still balk at the idea of doing it because of one small but quite significant factor – The Edinburgh Gazette.

Unlike normal debt repayment plans which are confidential, when you set up a Trust Deed your Insolvency Practitioner is required by law to place an advertisement in The Edinburgh Gazette. This can strike fear through many people who are concerned that friends and neighbours will be able to find out about their finances and the Trust Deed. There is a social stigma attached to it that is very hard to shake.

However, there is really nothing to worry about.

The Edinburgh Gazette is not a regular newspaper like the Times or the Daily Mail. It is a highly specialised bulletin specifically set up to publish information and legal notices. It is published every Tuesday and Thursday and generally circulated to your creditors, people working in the law industry, libraries, researchers and the like, In addition, they have to pay for it – currently a subscription is almost £89, much more expensive than a regular magazine (and a great deal less interesting!) so you won't find it casually lying around in waiting rooms to be thumbed through. 

But what if someone you know did manage to get hold of a copy? Surely it would be a simple matter for them to find your advertisement? Well no, not really!  You see, the Edinburgh Gazette has lots of different categories collectively containing thousands of notices and advertisements, for example Parliament, State, Public Finance, Companies & Financial Regulations, Personal Insolvency, Corporate Insolvency, Partnerships, Post & Telecom, Personal Legal, Societies Regulation, Ecclesiastical, Health, Planning, Environment, Water, Energy, Agriculture & Fisheries etc. In each of these categories are sub-categories of notice type and that's where they would have to specifically look for notices about Trust Deeds.

You really do have to have a personal vested interest in legal and financial matters to want to bother regularly trawling through the Edinburgh Gazette so it's highly unlikely one of your family or neighbours would bother to get a subscription on the off-chance information about your finances might appear in it.

So how much information do the advertisements reveal?

If you're concerned that the advertisement might contain all the details of your financial difficulties, you don't need to worry. Each notice about Trust Deeds is very straight-forward and contains no information about the amount of debt or the reason behind why you have Trust Deed. It tends to follow a very general form like this:

"Trust Deeds have been granted by [your name], [your address], and previously residing at [your previous address], and previously residing at [your previous address], on [date the Trust Deed was set up], conveying (to the extent specified in section 5(4A) in the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985) their estates to me, [name of your insolvency practitioner], as Trustee for the benefit of their Creditors generally.

"If a Creditor wishes to object to the Trust Deeds for the purposes of preventing them becoming Protected Trust Deeds (see notes below on the objections required for that purpose) notification of such objection must be delivered in writing to the Trustee within 5 weeks of the date of the publication of this notice in The Edinburgh Gazette.

"Notes: The Trust Deeds may become Protected Trust Deeds unless within the period of 5 weeks of the date of publication of this notice in The Edinburgh Gazette a majority in number or not less than one third in value of the Creditors notify the Trustee in writing that they object to the Trust Deeds and do not wish to accede to them."

Not the most riveting of advertisements is it! And it is not likely to draw much attention from anyone other than your creditors.

All the advertisements is doing is letting your Creditors know what is happening and that whatever case they have against you for non-payment of your debts they should contact the your Trustee within 5 weeks or risk not being able to pursue you for non-payment while the Trust Deed is in effect.

So, if you feel there is a social stigma associated with the Edinburgh Gazette and your Trust Deed, put it out of your mind. No-one is going to know that you have embarked on a fresh start unless YOU tell them.

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