How does an earnings arrestment work?
For an earnings arrestment to be enforced the creditor will need to have already served a decree and a ‘charge for payment’.
A charge for payment is usually sent if you miss payments or default on your decree. This gives you 14 days to either pay the debt in full, or try to negotiate an informal payment arrangement with the creditor. You can normally only arrange this if you didn’t return your time to pay direction.
The exception to this is unpaid court fines where no charge for payment needs to be issued.
If you aren’t able to make arrangements or pay in full, the creditor can then issue the earnings arrestment if this is the creditors preferred method of diligence.
You should also receive a ‘Debt Advice and Information’ package around 12 weeks before an earnings arrestment is issued. This gives you information on your rights and where and how to get advice.
A sheriff officer then serves an arrestment schedule to your employer. The schedule contains details about the creditor, decree and any other information about the diligence.