Should a creditor decide to take court action against you to recoup the money they are owed they may do this through what is known as the ‘simple procedure’. This process is a civil legal procedure which can only be used for debts under £5,000 and is only available in Scotland.
You will usually only know of your creditors’ intentions to begin the simple procedure process after they have submitted the application, unless they otherwise make you aware of that this will be the next step. You will be issued with a ‘simple procedure notice of claim (form 6A)’ which is the formal notice that proceedings have been started against you. You may receive this in the post or directly from a sheriff officer. From this point onwards, the creditor who issued the notice is known as a claimant, and you will be known as the respondent.
Form 6A will detail who the claimant is, the reason for the action against you, and what the claimant expects from you should their claim be successful. Inside the pack will also be a response form, a completed claim form, a time to pay application form (if appropriate), and a timetable which will detail the latest date for you to contest the claim. You should read all this information carefully so you are fully aware of the situation and what is expected of you.
If you have been issued with a simple procedure notice of claim, you must take action; the very worst thing you can do is ignore the situation. If you do not respond, it is likely that the court will deem the creditors’ claim successful meaning you will be required to make a full payment to the claimant which will include the full outstanding balance, interest accrued over time, and the costs incurred by the claimant for submitting the claim.
When it comes to responding, you have three options: you can accept full liability for the claim and pay in full, accept full liability but request additional time to pay by way of a payment plan, or dispute all or part of the claim. You response should be sent to both the court and the claimant by the deadline given in the timetable.
Certainly, and if you are not entirely sure how to respond to the claim, you are strongly advised to utilise some of these avenues of help. Free assistance can be obtained from the Citizens Advice Bureau or National Debtline. A solicitor can help you if you need representation in court, although costs for this can vary depending on your personal situation, the complexity of the case, and your eligibility for legal aid. Regrettably, Scotland Debt Solutions cannot help you respond to the claim form.
If you are experiencing serious debt problems and are worried that you may be subject to a simple procedure claim in the future, Scotland Debt Solutions can help. We assist individuals all across Scotland tackle their personal debt issues by providing sound and actionable advice. We will consider a range of both formal and informal debt solutions and suggest the most appropriate one for your individual situation. Call our experts today and take the first step towards becoming debt-free.
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