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Readers Questions

  1. Wendy

    Hi there I would ike to ask for your urgent help. A Decision of the Court was granted in my favour under a Simple Procedure Action to recover money owed to me by a tradesman. I paid two sums of money to the individuals bank account for materials, of which some were not received, and labour which was not carried out. The Extract Decree was received by the respondent. After waiting the required 28 days to allow time for a response/appeal, I instructed Sheriff Officers to make a Bank Arrestment. However, they have advised that since the account into which I paid money is with “Think Money Bank” they are not able to proceed with the arrestment(as this is done in person by the SO). I have the option of stepping backwards and doing the step which I skipped, ie the Charge for Payment, but I feel that this is a waste of time since cannot imagine that the individual will offer any cooperation. I have spoken to Think Money but they are advising that the only thing I can do is ask my Bank to contact them and request repayment of the monies back to me. However my bank(Bank of Scotland) will not do this.

    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Wendy

      Unfortunately, if the Sheriff Officers are saying they cannot attach the funds, as the account is an online bank with no Scottish office that they can make the personal service to, it does not appear you can proceed further with this option.

      A Charge for Payment is the only option you have left if you want to recover this debt using Diligence, as most other Diligence such as attachment etc.require this to be served first.

      If you paid by Debit Card, rather than Credit Card, the option of Charge Back via your bank is only available for the first 120 days after the transaction is made. If that time limit has been exceeded, then they won’t be able to assist.

      The only other option, and I don’t know how much you are owed is to look at possibly an inhibition, but that requires the tradesman to own a property and also there is a further cost to registering it. It also doesn’t force them to pay now.

      A better option may be to get a solicitor to write a letter to the Tradesman. It doesn’t force them to pay, but it might surprise you, it can sometimes be effective and is often cheaper than a Charge for Payment.

      Other than that I have no further advice I can offer. As is often the case, getting a Court Order is one thing, recovering a debt can be even more difficult and costly, with a high chance of failure.

      If it is any consolation this debt is now effectively enforceable for the next 20 years and if your requested it, is increasing at 8% per annum.

      You will also have damaged the tradesman’s credit rating.

      You may not be able recover it just now, but that doesn’t mean you cannot come back to it later, even a few years from now. People’s lives change. He may be able to ignore it now, but in future he may have more to lose and he will owe you more.

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