Once a decree or decision from a court or tribunal has been made, and a ‘charge for payment’ or ‘charge to pay’ has been issued by the creditor and delivered to you, deductions can be made by your employer for debts owed if the process has been followed correctly.
If your employer has already started making deductions, or if you know that this is due to happen, you should check a few things with them. This includes whether the arrestment is legal or not, and that the money the creditor is claiming you owe is correct.
Things to check
It is also a requirement that the creditor has issued you with a ‘Debt Advice and Information Package’, sometimes referred to as a ‘DAIP’. If this has not been issued to you by the creditor, then the correct procedure has not been followed, and you can challenge the arrestment.
Additionally, you should check that the correct amount is being deducted in line with guidelines, and that the proper rules have been followed.
Legally, a creditor cannot arrest wages in their entirety. There is a set schedule of arrestment amount, depending on the frequency of your pay. Remember that it is possible for multiple arrestments from different creditors to be applied to a salary.
If there are multiple debts, limits apply to the total debt, and any employer deductions must be to these limits as a maximum.
Wage arrestment is not the only way that creditors can seek payment for debts owed. A creditor with the relevant authority can freeze the bank or building society accounts of those who owe them money.
Seeking debt advice is important!
Seeking informed advice that is tailored to our own circumstances is important when it comes to dealing with our personal finances. Advice Direct Scotland run several services that may be able to help you.
moneyadvice.scot provide free information and support on a wide-range of debt-related issues. Our specialist debt advisers can work with you to assess your current situation, look at your income and expenditure and decide what to do next. You can call the team on 0808 196 2316 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
By reaching out for advice and support, or just having a conversation about our current situation, we can put ourselves back on track and take away some of the worry.
Advice on Energy Bills
In relation to your utility bills, energyadvice.scot provide free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to the citizens of Scotland and can answer energy-related enquiries. Our specialist advisers are available on 0808 196 8660 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
The Scottish Government’s Home Heating Support Fund seeks to provide financial relief to energy consumers who are experiencing significant financial hardship and strives to provide this support to households regardless of the fuel or payment method used. You can find out more about the fund by visiting www.homeheatingadvice.scot.
Advice Direct Scotland are running our COST campaign from the 10th to the 23rd of October, encouraging Scottish citizens to have conversations around the cost-of-living and energy costs to help raise awareness about the sources of support available.
For more information on the campaign, and the range of free support that is available, visit www.advicedirect.scot/cost.