Check If You Qualify

Diligence against earnings – Information for Scots in debt

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 31st January 2024 - 3 minutes to read

Diligence against earnings is a collective term for the ways creditors can deduct money directly from your salary in order to enforce the payment of a debt. The three methods are: earnings arrestmentcurrent maintenance arrestment and conjoined arrestment orders.

What is an Earnings Arrestment?

Earnings Arrestment (EA) – This is the most common type of arrestment order in Scotland. Earnings arrestment is used to make a deduction from your earnings for enforcement of a single debt. The deduction to be made from your employment earnings is calculated according to a set of tables that recover a percentage of the debt according to the level of earnings in the pay period. Earnings arrestment is a serious step for a lender to take and will only be considered once all other avenues to obtain repayment have been exhausted. An earnings arrestment order will not come out of the blue; rather this will be the final step in a long process which involves the lender being granted a court order. Before this can happen, a Charge for Payment (this is a final notice to pay which gives you 14 days to settle the outstanding debt in full), must have been issued and subsequently expired.

The only exception to this is where the debt is being pursued by a Fines Enforcement Officer for an unpaid court fine; in this instance no Charge for Payment is required and your earnings can be arrested automatically.

The amount that can be taken from your wages hinges on how much (and how often) you’re paid. There is a minimum amount you will be allowed to earn before a percentage can be taken, which currently stands at £494.01 per month or £113.68 per week. The deductions from your pay packet will continue until the debt is paid in full.

Debt Calculator

Get a rough indication of what your monthly repayments might be under each of our different debt solutions.

When might a Current Maintenance Arrestment be used?

Current Maintenance Arrestment (CMA) – A current maintenance arrestment is used to enforce a continuing maintenance obligation, such as a court awarded divorce settlement or child maintenance payment. A CMA will only be used if the debtor has failed to keep up with their obligations and has fallen behind on the payments they are required to make. As with an earnings arrestment, the order is served on the debtor’s employer and deductions are made directly from earnings.

What is a Conjoined Arrestment Order?

Conjoined Arrestment Orders (CAO) – A conjoined arrestment order may be made if an individual has two, or more, of the same type of arrestments (either EA or CMA) running at the same time. A CAO combines these payments into one. If an individual has one EA and one CMA, then these will continue as separate payments. With a CAO, the amount taken from your salary is passed to the court where it is then divided between the creditors on a proportional basis.

If you are struggling with debt, Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We will quickly assess your situation, and advise on all the options available to you. Our experienced team work from five offices around Scotland, and are available for same-day consultations.

facebook colour icon twitter colour icon linkedin colour icon messenger colour icon whatsapp colour icon email colour icon
Sharon McDougall Square

Sharon McDougall


Other Articles

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed? Can I Borrow Money

Can I borrow money whilst I’m in a Trust Deed?

Borrowing money when you’re already deeply in debt requires careful consideration, and consultation with your trustee, as there are various factors associated with further borrowing in this situatio...

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed Guide to get a mortgage

Your guide to getting a mortgage after a Trust Deed

If you’re about to be discharged from a Trust Deed, you may be wondering to what extent your ability to obtain a mortgage has been affected.

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland? Court Order

What is an inhibition court order in Scotland?

If you’ve lost your job, state benefits and tax credits can provide vital financial support to see you through this tough time and help you avoid taking on too much debt while you look for more work...


Why Choose Us

Usp Discussion

Speak Direct With

A Qualified Adviser


We Don't Operate

Call Centres

Usp Location

5 Offices in Scotland

National Coverage

Usp House

Ask us About

Home Visits

Usp Award

Fully Regulated Advisors

From a Reputable Firm

Usp Hand Heart

Helping Scots Get

Out of Debt Since 1989

We'll give you a call

Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.

Here at Scotland Debt Solutions we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to contact you with regards to your enquiry. We will not use your information for marketing purposes. See our Privacy Policy.


Useful Tools

Personalised Debt Report
Usp Planner

Personalised Debt Report

Our personalised debt report will help you better understand your financial position and see where your money is going.

Debt Report
Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Instant Scheduled Call & WhatsApp

Arrange a call with an expert advisor at a time to suit you or contact our team via WhatsApp for immediate help and advice.

Arrange Callback
Find a Local Office
Usp Signpost

Find a Local Office

We have five offices located across Scotland. Find your nearest one here.

Find an Office


We can help you with...



Sequestration is the Scottish version of bankruptcy and may be suitable for you if you do not have the money to pay back your debts

Find out More
Trust Deeds in Scotland

Trust Deeds in Scotland

A Trust Deed involves making a monthly contribution to your debts for up to four years. After this time any remaining debt included in the Trust Deed will not need to be paid.

Find out More
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) lets you pay off your debt through a series of manageable instalments over a reasonable length of time.

Find out More
Business Debts
Icon Briefcase

Business Debts

Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director, we can help you work through your current financial problems including money owed to HMRC

Business Debts

Our Insolvency Practitioners are regulated by ICAS or the IPA and our firm is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Fees and Information: There are fees associated with our services. These will be fully explained before entering into any of the personal debt solutions referred to on this website. Full details of our fees and how these are charged are fully explained to you prior to you committing to any particular service.

ICAS Insolvency Practitioners