What is a wage arrestment?
In Scotland, wage arrestments – or earnings arrestments – are a legal way for creditors to recoup money that’s owed to them.
A wage arrestment enables a creditor to recover money directly from your wages – forcing your employer to deduct the money before your pay makes it into your bank account. This is usually done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Your employer can’t refuse to comply with a wage arrestment and therefore is required to deduct the monies from your pay.
Wage arrestments will generally continue until the debt you owe(d) is paid off in full – and will also include any interest and legal costs that your creditor has incurred in seeking to recover their money.
How do wage arrestments work?
To carry out a wage arrestment, a creditor has to have followed certain statutory steps – including, at the very least, warning you that failure to make repayments to debts can lead to your earnings being arrested.
An earnings arrestment is served by a Sheriff Officer and is usually done with the service of a ‘Charge for Payment’. A Charge for Payment gives you 14 days to pay your debt in full, if you fail to do this, your creditor can then apply to arrest your wages.
How to stop wage arrestments
In Scotland, in order to protect against creditor action (via wage arrestments and other means), a person can complete and register a form known as a Moratorium. A Moratorium prevents any creditors taking action against you for a period of 6 months while you consider your options.
In our experience, once a debt has built to a point where creditors are trying to recover money by means of earnings arrestments, or other threats of recovery/seeking payment, you should obtain appropriate advice on your options; these could include debt solution options such as:
- A Debt Payment Plan, under the Debt Arrangement Scheme.
- A Scottish Trust Deed (otherwise known as a Protected Trust Deed).
- Sequestration (the Scottish term for bankruptcy).
If you’re facing the financial uncertainty caused by a wage arrestment, or other threats from creditors for payment of a debt, fill in our quick form and we’ll call you back, at a time that’s convenient to you, to give you some free debt advice.