Almost 400 people will face "financial Armageddon" and go bankrupt every week in 2013, an accountancy and business advisory firm has predicted.
Over both 2012 and 2013 about 20,000 Scots will either have been sequestrated or have taken out a Protected Trust Deed because of their debts, PKF said.
With the economy not improving, the number of personal insolvencies could remain at this "very high" level for the next few years, said Bryan Jackson, the firm's corporate recovery partner.
"With no improvement in the economy, employment insecurity rife and rising living costs, there is little sign of this level of personal insolvency reducing over the next three to four years. This means that another eighty to one hundred thousand Scots will go bust in the next four to five years," he said.
There were 19,634 sequestrations and Personal Trust Deeds taken out in 2011, with 14,520 in the first three quarters of 2012.
As economic growth remains "elusive", the result is that personal insolvencies "whilst stabilising, remain at a very high rate in historic terms", Mr Jackson said.
"Personal insolvencies appear to be steady at around 20,000 per year. While this number is lower than the peak achieved in 2009, when 23,541 Scots were made bankrupt, it is by any standards a very high figure indeed. In 2004 there were 9,321 Scottish personal bankruptcies and in 1998 there were just 4,465. The reality is that 400 Scots face financial Armageddon each week.
"Given that personal insolvencies are at the extreme end of financial distress, it should be noted that there will be hundreds of thousands of Scots simply treading water and meeting interest rate payments, but with little hope of repaying their debts in the near future. Scotland is still some considerable time away from recovering from the recession. We have a personal insolvency rate which continues to be almost twice that of the rest of the UK and a static economy that is unlikely to drive forward growth in the next year or so." Mr Jackson added: "With an enormous dependence on the public sector for employment, it is unfortunate that Scotland looks likely to have a less-than-happy new year in 2013."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "It is difficult to compare personal insolvency figures from 2004 with the present day due to the introduction of new routes to bankruptcy for those most in need of debt relief, such as the Low Income Low Asset route introduced in 2008.
"The Scottish Government and its agencies continue to look at ways to help individuals struggling to break the cycle of debt. Through its work on bankruptcy law reform, Accountant in Bankruptcy is in the process of determining how debt management and debt relief mechanisms can be further modernised to ensure that relevant and proportionate options are available. The Scottish Government's debt management tool, the Debt Arrangement Scheme, continues to be a viable option for Scots struggling with debt. The Debt Arrangement Scheme freezes interest and helps people struggling with debt pay back what they owe over a longer period."