If you live in Scotland, diligence is the name for the action a creditor can take to recover a debt.
Diligence is only used to collect debts in Scotland. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland the process works differently.
Your creditor can’t start diligence until one of the following happens.
- The sheriff’s court issues an open decree
- You’ve missed payments on a ‘time to pay direction’
- The sheriff’ court issues a summary warrant for a government debt such as council tax or income tax
If a creditor wants to start diligence they have to send you a document called a ‘charge for payment’ first. They can then do any of the following:
- Take payments from your wage using an earnings arrestment
- Take payments from your bank account using a bank arrestment
- Take goods from outside your home using an attachment of non-domestic property
- Take goods from inside your home using an exceptional attachment order
- Prevent you selling your house using an inhibition order
Following a charge for payment, a creditor can also begin bankruptcy proceedings.
If you receive a charge for payment, you can apply to the court for a ‘time to pay order’ to stop the diligence.
Free help and support
If you’ve received court paperwork or you think diligence has started, call our free Helpline on 0800 138 1111. We’ll be able to give you the expert advice you need to get your situation back on track.