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How to challenge a County Court Judgment in Scotland

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 15th May 2024 - 2 minutes to read

What is a County Court Judgment in Scotland?

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) in Scotland is called a decree. It’s a court order to repay a specific debt, but the rules are different between a County Court Judgment and a Scottish Court Decree.

While we cannot help you to challenge a County Court Judgment or Court Decree, we can help you if you would like to set up a payment plan or explore your debt solution options to help you settle what you owe.

So what is a decree in Scotland, and can you challenge one?

County Court Judgment vs Scottish Court Decree

A Scottish Court Decree is a method by which a creditor can recover their money. Creditors typically try to recover a debt in this way when all other efforts have proved unsuccessful, such as agreeing a new repayment plan.

A County Court Judgment in Scotland indicates that debts have become unmanageable, and that immediate action is needed. It’s important to seek professional help when dealing with or challenging a County Court Judgment in Scotland, to make sure you understand your rights in this matter and the consequences of any action or inaction.

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What happens when you receive a Scottish Court Decree?

When a Scottish Court Decree is issued it’s recorded in the Registry Trust, which is a publicly viewable register, and also on your credit record. This negatively affects your ability to borrow in the future, as it remains on your credit file for six years. 

If you fail to pay the court order, your creditor can take further enforcement action to recover the debt. This process is called ‘diligence’ and can take various forms, including:

  • An Attachment of Earnings Order that instructs your employer to deduct a sum towards the debt directly from your wages
  • A Bank Arrestment – this means the funds in your bank account are frozen, and a sum transferred to repay your creditor
  • An Attachment of Property – to seize and remove possessions from your home

What happens if you pay the debt after a decree?

If you pay the debt in full within one calendar month of the decree being issued, the CCJ should then be removed from the Insolvency Register and your credit file. It’s worthwhile checking your credit file to ensure the decree has been removed if you’ve paid it off within 30 days, as your creditor may not have informed the credit reference agency that the debt has been satisfied.

If you pay off the debt after this 30-day period, the note on your credit file and with the Registry Trust will remain. You can apply for a certificate of satisfaction from your creditor, however, and this should be sent to the Registry Trust. 

But can you challenge a County Court Judgment in Scotland with a view to having it set aside?

Is it possible to challenge a CCJ in Scotland?

There are some situations where it may be possible to challenge the decree, and ultimately have it set aside. These include:

In all circumstances, when challenging a County Court Judgment in Scotland it’s crucial to obtain professional assistance. Scotland Debt Solutions has been helping Scottish residents to escape debt since 1989, and can provide the guidance you need.

We’ll let you know if you’re eligible to challenge the decree, and help you take steps to do so. Please contact one of our licensed insolvency practitioners – we offer free same-day consultations and work from offices around the country.

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Sharon McDougall


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