What is an Earnings Arrestment

One of the diligence methods that Sheriff Officers in Scotland can implement is a Wage Arrestment, or known by their proper name – Earnings Arrestment.

If you have arrived here, it is likely that you have either:

  • Received a Summary Warrant
  • Ignored all contact with the Sheriff Officers
  • Or defaulted on a payment arrangement

When can this method of diligence be applied?

Much the same way as its English/Welsh counterpart there is a process leading up to this point. Earnings Arrestments can only be implemented following an appropriate procedure, which can only be started once a Summary Warrant has been granted.

How will I know when an Earnings Arrestment has been implemented?

Sheriff Officers will provide your employer with an Earnings Arrestment Schedule. This is an instruction to apply deductions from your salary, based on a sliding percentage scale – dependent on what you earn.

Can employers decline to impose the Earnings Arrestment?

Absolutely…Not! Once an employer refuses to impose an Earnings Arrestment, they can be held liable for the deductible amount plus, they can also be summonsed to court where they risk Sheriff Officers pursuing them for the amount that should have been deducted.

How many Earnings Arrestments can be implemented at any one time?

Typically, you would expect no more than two Earnings Arrestments implemented against you at any one time however, it is not unheard of for second and third Earnings Arrestments to be applied, in what is called a Conjoined Earnings Arrestment. This doesn’t mean you pay more, it simply means that what has been deducted gets split between all schedules.

Are there any ways to prevent this from happening?

No. Eventually, an Earnings Arrestment will be inevitable but you can delay it, if you need time to adjust your spending or seek advice. For this, you must submit a Time to Pay request at the earliest opportunity. This will then be put to the Sheriff Court and, if approved, you must get in touch with us so we can help you resolve the situation quickly. You will find an application for the Time to Pay in with the paperwork from the Sheriff Officers.

If you are in arrears, click here to reach out to our Mediation Centre

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