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What is a decree or CCJ and how could it affect me?

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 23rd October 2023 - 2 minutes to read

What is a decree in Scotland?

In Scotland, County Court Judgments (CCJs) are referred to as a decree.

If you are no longer able to repay your debts by the payment deadline, the lender can apply to the courts and, if successful, can have a decree is issued against you to recover the debt. Alternatively, lenders can obtain a summary warrant to recover certain debts such as council tax, income tax etc. If you have been issued with either of these by the court and are unsure of what to do, our knowledgeable team at Scotland Debt Solutions are here to offer expert debt help and advice.

In the majority of cases, smaller debts are recovered through the Sheriff’s Court whereas the Court of Session is usually reserved for larger debts. Whether you receive either a summons or an initial writ from the courts also depends on the size of your debt.

You can apply for an ‘application in writing for a time to pay direction’ after a summons or initial writ has been served and before a decree is granted. This paperwork gives you the option of paying off your debts within a reasonable timescale. It’s important to complete this paperwork correctly and in good time, or your payment could be set at an unreasonable amount that you can’t afford to repay.

Paperwork issued by the courts can be extremely complicated, and during a stressful time when you’re struggling to pay back your debts, it might be easier to discuss the situation with an experienced professional.

If you are still unable to meet payment deadlines following the decree, the lender can begin the process of ‘enforcing debt by diligence’, the technical term for debt enforcement in Scottish law.

As with most debt solutions, a decree will be damaging to your credit rating, so always discuss the situation with a professional before making a decision about the best course of action. Our advisers at Scotland Debt Solutions can offer you the peace of mind you need to get your finances back on track.

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Sharon McDougall


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