Dealing with your non-priority debts

If my creditors take court action, what are the advantages?

  • The court is more likely to let you pay an amount that you can afford. But it can only do this if you explain your income and outgoings and other debts on the reply form to the summons.
  • Often you won't have to go to the court for a hearing. Much of the procedure is done through the post.

If my creditors take court action, what are the disadvantages?

  • Court costs are added on to your debt, although creditors cannot add on what they want. Court costs will be added on a sliding scale depending on the amount of money you owe.
  • Details of sheriff court decrees are recorded by Trust Online and are available to credit reference agencies. This may make it difficult for you to get credit in the future.

Can I get credit again?

  • If you pay off your decree within one month, you can ask to have the entry removed from the register.
  • If you do not pay the monthly amount which the court orders you to pay the whole amount straightaway (called on 'open decree'), the creditor may take further action against you. So make sure you pay your monthly payments or apply for them to be reduced if you cannot afford the first amount that the court fixed.

How to get help with court fees

If you need to apply to the court, there may be a fee to pay. For more information about court fees in Scotland, see www.scotcourts.gov.uk.