Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Surprisingly, hundreds of thousands of people in the UK today have debt problems that they cannot cope with for many different reasons.
Debt is a private matter between you and your creditors, unless you opt for bankruptcy. Otherwise, in general you are under no obligation to tell anyone other than your money adviser and the creditors themselves.
A default notice is usually the first step which creditors will take before they take you to court. In other words, a creditor must advise you first in writing that you haven't paid your debt. You must also be given the opportunity to make payments to bring your account up to date. However, some debts are treated differently.
No, not normally.
Possibly. Your house can only be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other loan secured against your property. But don't panic, you won't be repossessed overnight. Contact a money adviser as soon as possible for advice.
No. Under normal circumstances you will not go to prison because of debt. The problems of debt are dealt with under Scottish civil law. This means that the creditor who is owed money may be able to add financial penalties onto the amount owed eg increased interest charges. However, a prison sentence cannot be applied.
Council Tax, Non-Domestic Rates & Bid (Business Improvement District) Levy
A Summary Warrant is granted by the Sheriff Court for unpaid Council Tax, Non Domestic Rates & Bid Levy. Under current legislation you do not have the opportunity to attend Court before the Summary Warrant is granted. Once the Summary Warrant is granted it gives authority for immediate enforcement by Sheriff Officers.
Parking Fines Debts
A Penalty Charge Notice would have been issued to you and in terms of legislation there is no requirement for this to go through Court. This is pursued by a Charge Certificate which has the same status as an Extract Decree Arbitral bearing a warrant for all lawful execution. This contains authority for immediate enforcement by a Sheriff Officer.
Bus Lane Contraventions
A Penalty Charge Notice would have been issued to you and in terms of legislation there is no requirement for this to go through Court. This is pursed by a Charge Certificate which has the same status as an Extract Decree Arbitral bearing a warrant for all lawful execution. This contains authority for immediate enforcement by a Sheriff Officer.
All our Sheriff Officers are members of the Society of Messengers-at-Arms & Sheriff Officers, 11 Alva Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4PH. If you are unhappy with a response to a complaint that you receive from us you can contact them at the above address.
Sheriff Officer fees are set by Court and are fixed. The current fees are contained within Act of Sederunt (Fees of Sheriff Officers) 2014.
If calling out to your property we need to make enquiries to make sure you still live there. We will identify ourselves when requested but do not divulge any personal or sensitive information to a 3rd party.
If we can confirm your residence then we will leave paperwork, in a sealed envelope. This is not a breach of data protection.
The deductions are set by The Debtors Scotland Act 1987. These are fixed rates and we cannot change them.
We do not store any payment card numbers or cvv (3 digit verification) code on our systems. We comply with The Data Protection Act 1988 and we are (PCI) Payment Card Industry certified.
This is not correct. Our Warrant authorises immediate enforcement for settlement of all balances, we do not have to accept arrangements. If settlement cannot be made in full, we will try to set a payment plan based on your current finances that is suitable to you and our client.
Freedom of Information only covers public bodies for which the Scottish Parliament have jurisdiction, this does not cover us. We can supply a Subject Access Request (SAR) under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Any request should be put in writing with a £10 administrative fee along with proof of identity. Acceptable identification must include name, address and date of birth. Two forms of I.D. are required and could be Drivers Licence, Passport, Birth Certificate or utility bill (originals not required). We will respond to this request within 40 days.