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Tackling your debts

What is diligence in Scotland - and what can I do about it?

Posted 16 April 2013

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There are a few ways your creditor can take what you owe them, including taking money from your earnings. This guide explains more about 'diligence'.

If your lender has a court order (a 'decree') or a 'document of debt' against you, they could use diligence to reclaim what you owe them. This will only happen if you've failed to repay your debts.

Using diligence, your lender can recover money you owe them using a legal 'debt enforcement' method.

How can my lenders reclaim what I owe them?

If a lender decides to start diligence proceedings, they might be able to take what you owe them in a number of different ways, including: 

 

• Instructing your employer to take payments from your wages (an earnings arrestment)

• Taking payments out of your bank account (a bank arrestment)

• Taking goods from outside your home (attachment of non-domestic property)

• Taking goods from inside your home - although this is very rare and requires an exceptional attachment order

 

How to prevent diligence from your lenders


Taking steps to repay what you owe - which could mean entering a debt solution - could prevent your lenders from starting diligence proceedings. For example, the Debt Arrangement Scheme or a Protected Trust Deed would protect you against legal action from the lenders involved. They can also reduce your monthly debt repayments to a level you can actually afford.

Just remember: in general, the sooner you face up to your debts, the easier it should be to deal with them. It's best to seek professional debt advice sooner rather than later. 
To discuss your circumstances with a debt expert, fill out our debt solution finder below. We could help you to find the right debt solution for your needs - and help you to avoid any legal action.


by Emily Bancroft

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.