Section 35 — Articles in common ownership

Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:15 pm on 13th November 2002.

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Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

As section 35 stands, a person who owns an article in common with a defaulting debtor will be liable for part of a bad debt as a result of that common bond. As a result of being a co-owner of an item, the third party faces either paying a debt that is not theirs or losing an asset. That cannot be viewed as fair in all circumstances. An individual who does not have the necessary finances to buy out the debtor's interest will lose an asset through no fault of their own. As an alternative to forcing debt on innocent bystanders, amendment 66 would alter section 35 by allowing the sheriff to decide the appropriate disposal of the item.

I move amendment 66.

Photo of Richard Simpson Richard Simpson Labour

Section 35(1) allows articles that are owned jointly by a debtor and a third party to be attached and sold in satisfaction of the debtor's debt. Section 35(2) allows the third party to make a claim, before the auction, to buy the debtor's interest in the article. By doing so, the third party becomes the sole owner of the article. Amendment 66 would remove that possibility because it would leave disposal to the discretion of the sheriff. That would involve a hearing in each case, which would place a burden on the courts that is not necessary if the third party can make a claim by dealing directly with the officer. The amendment would open up the possibility of the sheriff making a different disposal and the only other reasonable possibility would be for the item to be returned to the debtor on payment to the third party. However, as the bill stands, the debtor could do that by buying the third party's share and redeeming the article. Accordingly, amendment 66 should be withdrawn.

Photo of George Reid George Reid Scottish National Party

The question is, that amendment 66 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 23

For: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Crawford, Bruce, Ewing, Dr Winnie, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Marwick, Tricia, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Morgan, Alasdair, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Quinan, Mr Lloyd, Robison, Shona, Russell, Michael, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Wilson, Andrew
Against: Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Canavan, Dennis, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Ferguson, Patricia, Fergusson, Alex, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Harding, Mr Keith, Harper, Robin, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeish, Henry, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Thomson, Elaine, Tosh, Mr Murray, Watson, Mike, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan, Young, John
Abstentions: Sheridan, Tommy

Photo of George Reid George Reid Scottish National Party

The result of the division is: For 30, Against 82, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 66 disagreed to.