This is the Scottish equivalent of a County Court Judgment.
Enforcing a debt by diligence can be issued by the sheriff court. The court can issue a summons, ordering you pay the full owed amount instantly. You can also be served a “time to pay direction” if you don’t stay up to date with your payments, allowing you to pay the debt in instalments.
The creditor will choose which of the many possible diligence methods they wish to use to collect the debt, based on how likely they are to get their money back:
- Attachment allows the sheriff officers to seize your possessions to sell on. This refers only to goods outside of your property. Your car, for example
- Bank Arrestment freezes your bank account. This is an extra warning to pay your debts, and if you don’t the creditor could order your bank to supply the necessary funds via application for “forthcoming”.
- Earnings Arrestment orders that deductions are made from your monthly wages
- Exception Attachment Order, similar to attachment, allows the repossession of the goods within your property. This is rare and used only as a last resort
- Inhibition Order prevents you from selling your property while the debts remain outstanding. If you need to move, the creditor will automatically take a cut of the house sale money.
- Money Attachment is used to collect debt from a business rather than an individual. It involves the seizure of finances kept outside the home.