How do you stop a Wage Arrestment?

Wage/Earnings Arrestment

Earnings Arrestment

Earning Arrestments (or wage arrestments) are a tool that Creditors can use to recover their debts, once they have taken you to Court.

They can, however, be both prevented and recalled using different legal debt procedures in Scotland.

Below we outline what these procedures are.

Statutory Moratorium

Statutory Moratorium

Statutory moratoriums provide you with six weeks protection from a creditor executing any diligence, such as a wage arrestment.

However, you can only use a Statutory Moratorium once in ever 12 month rolling period,  so it is important to do so with caution, and only after you have sought advice.

The idea behind it is during those six weeks, you should take steps to protect yourself, so that  you have a long term solution in place at the end of the Moratorium.

A Statutory Moratorium, however, will not help if an Earnings Arrestment is already in place.

Time to Pay Directions/ Orders

Time to Pay Orders can also be used to  lift an Earnings Arrestment. You can only apply for one, however, if you have not previously applied for one for the same debt.

Time to Pay Orders are applied for via the Sheriff Court and do not cost anything, although you may be liable for fees if you use a solicitor or the creditor is represented in court and you are not successful.

What is the Debt Arrangement Scheme?

Debt Arrangement Scheme

A Debt Payment Programme under the Debt Arrangement Scheme can also lift an earning arrestment, but only once it has been approved.

On approval the arrestment is lifted, as the debt is being re-paid through the Programme.

However, you cannot apply for a Debt Payment Programme if you have more than one wage arrestment (a conjoined arrestment), unless an additional creditor decides to take further action.

What is a Protected Trust Deed

Protected Trust Deeds

A Protected Trust Deed lifts an Earnings Arrestment once it becomes protected.

A Trust Deed is protected five weeks after the creditors are notified by the Trustee that one has been granted and providing enough creditors don’t object to it. The Accountant in Bankruptcy also have to agree to register it.

As Trust Deeds include all debts accrued prior to them being granted, the creditors are able to make a claim in the Trust Deed.


The final method that can be used to lift an Earning Arrestment is an award of bankruptcy, otherwise known as Sequestration in Scotland.

Once the sequestration is awarded by the Accountant in Bankruptcy, or by the Court (where a creditor makes you bankrupt), the Trustee notifies the creditor and the wage arrestment should cease.

Like with Protected Trust Deeds, the creditor should then make a claim in the bankruptcy.


  1. Jason

    Hi Alan

    I had a wage arrestemtn today of £369, I thought this was rather steep. I usually only make around 1500 so this to me is a large sum of my wage. How should i proceed with this? My debst are not that much in total either.

    Many Thanks


    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Jason

      They can arrest your wages over £529.90 at various rates depending on how much you earn. Initially it is 19%, but this climbs to 23% after you earn more than £1,915.32.
      Even if you earned only £1,500 per month they could still take £184 approximately.
      There are a number of ways to get a wage arrestment lifted (going forward), otherwise it will continue to your debts are paid.
      If you would like to discuss this further either speak to your local Citizen Advice Bureau or if you want a call back you can request one here from Carrington Dean.

  2. Michael

    I have a few debts probably totalling around £15k and these are Car Purchase ( HP ) 8k currently arresting my wages at £48 per week and then I have store cards, mortgage arrears ( 3k ) and a 2k loan. I own my home in a joint mortgage with my wife, what is the best route to go down to get these dealt with and start rebuilding my credit file.


    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Michael

      I wouldn’t dare suggest what is the “correct” solution as, there are potentially multiple solutions available to you, depending on your more detailed circumstances.

      I am usually happy to give specific answers to specific questions, but I couldn’t suggest, using this medium of communication, what is the best solution.

      Your circumstances are complex as it involves:

      Joint ownership of a property;
      Mortgage arrears;
      An Earning arrestment; and
      Car finance

      You need a holistic solution, that is one that deals with all these issues and takes into consideration the affordability of any solution.

      The best advice I can give and my normal practice is to recommend seeking advice from your local Citizen Advice Bureau or Local Authority Money Advice Service.

      All I would say is get proper advice from a reputable agency and I am absolutely certain they will help get you back on track again.

      And a word of caution, if someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so get a second opinion if you are doubtful.

  3. Mary

    I am looking for advice on how I can get my wage arrestment reduced?

    1. Scottish Adviser Post author

      Hi Mary

      Wage arrestments cannot be reduced, as they are based on a table that calculates how much the employer must take.

      The only option is to speak to the creditor and ask if they will stop it and allow you to enter into a voluntary arrangement, although this is unlikely to happen, as having gone to the expense of obtaining a wage arrestment, most creditors will not agree to voluntarily stop it and take less payments.

      There are a number of options for stopping wage arrestments, which you can find out more from my page on stopping wage arrestments.

      You can normally obtain assistance in doing this from your local Citizen Advice Bureau of Local Authority Money Advice Service.

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