What is a SCD and how does it affect me?

A Sheriff Court Decree (SCD) is a type of court order that can be issued against you if you fail to repay your debts. Usually this happens if you fall behind on payments and the creditor has tried but been unable to contact you to work out a repayment plan. The creditor can apply to the courts for a ruling saying you have to pay the money back.

SCDs are used in Scotland. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the equivalent is a Court County Judgement. 

Also, the SCD may order you to pay back all of the money at once.

If you’re formally issued with a SCD, it will negatively impact your credit score, making it harder to get loans, mortgages, credit cards or even mobile phone contracts. And if you can get credit, it's likely you won't be able to secure the best interest rates.

Is legal action already taking place?

No, we are not taking legal action yet. We’d like to work with you to try and find an affordable solution for you.

If you do continue to ignore us, we will instruct our solicitors to start the process by applying to the court. Before this instance though, we have plenty of solutions that can help you manage your Cabot account.

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What happens if a decree or decision is granted?

If your request to pay in instalments is agreed, then you’ll get a ‘decision with an order for time to pay’ or a ‘decree with a time to pay direction’.

If you didn’t ask to pay in instalments or you missed the deadline, you’ll get a decision or decree asking for the full amount to be paid.

As long as you comply with the terms and make your payments on time, your creditor won’t be able to take any further court action against you.


What happens if I fail to pay?

If you fail to pay or miss one of your payments, your creditor can start diligence.

Before they can do this, you should receive a ‘charge to pay’ for debts up to £5,000 or a ‘charge for payment’ for debts of more than £5,000.

The charge to pay/charge for payment notice gives you 14 days to pay before further action can be taken.


What does ‘further action’ mean?

There are several actions a creditor can take, and they will decide which is most appropriate based on your circumstances.

These include:

Earnings arrestment — where your employer deducts money from your wage to pay off your debts. If the amount deducted from your wages is likely to leave you unable to pay your bills, contact a fee-free debt adviser such as PayPlan or StepChange who can give you advice.

Bank arrestment — where your bank account is frozen and your creditor can apply for a ‘Furthcoming’, which orders your bank to hand over funds to pay your debts

Inhibition order — an order attached to a person where it stops you from applying for a secured loan on your home. You can still sell your house but you will have to pay off the debt with the money from the sale.

Attachment (goods outside home) — where the Sheriff’s office can seize goods to pay off your debts

Money attachment — where the Sheriff’s office can seize cash or cheques kept outside your home

Exceptional attachment order — where the Sheriff’s office can seize goods from inside your home. This is a last resort, and a creditor will need special permission first.