A Newton Stewart building firm and its partners were declared bankrupt at Stranraer Sheriff Court on Friday over non-payment of debts of more than £800,000.
The sequestration of the estates of James Scott Builders & Company, Holmpark Industrial Estate, Minnigaff, and James and Isobel Scott, Fine View, Doon Brae, Newton Stewart, was granted by Sheriff J Halley, Advocate, and a Trustee, Matthew Henderson from Edinburgh accountants Johnston Carmichael, was appointed to oversee the sale of the assets of the estate to pay creditors.
The sequestration was requested by Jean Shaw from Guernsey who, two years ago, won a legal case against James Scott Builders & Company after a contractual dispute.
In 2004, Mrs Shaw engaged Mr Scott’s firm to build a home for her and her husband at Ferter, deep in the Galloway Forest Park on the Wigtownshire/South Ayrshire border, but when constuction disagreements emerged in early 2007, Mr Scott claimed he had never agreed the terms of a contract drawn up between them in 2005. Lawyers were called in and after a long legal wrangle, Lord Hodge found in favour of Mrs Shaw at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in 2010.
James Scott Builders, James and Isobel Scott was subsequently ordered by the court to pay Mrs Shaw what now, including interest and costs, amounts to £845,854.08 and a settlement agreement was worked out. In the terms of that agreement, James Scott Builders, James Scott and Isobel Scott were given six months by Mrs Shaw to raise the funds to pay the agreed sum. When the Scotts had not paid by the agreed date of March 1 this year, Mrs Shaw agreed to an extension until June 1 to allow them time to make the first instalment of £500,000. When no payment was made on June 1 she applied for sequestration.
In court papers it was revealed James Scott Builders , together with James and Isobel Scott, own 67 properties in the Newton Stewart area, a number of which are leased out, bringing in around £264,000 of annual rental income.
Properties belonging to them have been for sale for several months in an attempt to raise capital but failed to find a buyer.