If you owe a debt of £5,000 or less, your creditor may send you a Simple Procedure Notice of Claim. This is a relatively new procedure that was brought in by the Scottish government and commenced on 28th November 2016 – their intention being to make it easier to resolve debt disputes.
So if you’ve received a notice of claim, what do you do now?
You should have received a number of other forms, along with the notice of claim. These can include a copy of the claim form completed by your creditor, a timetable, a Time to Pay application, and a blank Response Form.
Initially, you need to make sure all the documents are included, and then read through the information to find out who is making the claim and the amount of debt they say you owe them. In particular, it’s important to take careful note of the date by which your response should be made.
You have three options to act before the final response date:
You need to let the court know that you agree the claim, and will settle before the final response date.
You can complete the Time to Pay application and return it with the Response Form. It’s also possible to hand the application to a court officer during a hearing, a case management discussion, or even after a decision on the debt has been made.
If you dispute the debt, the court can order one of the following:
If you don’t return the Response Form the court is likely to act in favour of your creditor, demanding the payment in full with additional interest and expenses.
It’s important to include as much information as possible about the debt and your financial situation if you do respond, so the court can make a decision based on their understanding of the facts.
If you make a Time to Pay application, the claimant must respond within two weeks. If they object, a court hearing will be arranged where you or a representative can present your case.
The court will then make a decision on whether your application for extra time to pay the debt will be granted.
It’s advisable to seek professional assistance if you’ve received a Simple Procedure Notice of Claim. This ensures you take action appropriate to your circumstances, and benefit from a better understanding of your options.
Scotland Debt Solutions has extensive experience of court process in Scotland, and can help you deal with a Simple Procedure Notice of Claim. Call one of our experts to arrange a free same-day meeting at one of five offices around Scotland.
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