Since our last update we have seen further restrictions being lifted as our country slowly begins to  get back to normal.  We have now moved into phase 3 of the Scottish Government route-map which in turn means the phase 3 guidance issued by the Society of Messengers-at-Arms & Sheriff Officers also comes into effect:

Phase 3

This marks a further resumption of justice system processes and services.  Enforcement should recommence of Attachments, Money Attachments, Ejections and Exceptional Attachment Orders.”

Obviously, the caveats around the latest Public Health Guidance continue to apply and of course the phases can go backwards as well as forward, however we welcome this further suppression of the virus which allows for these steps to take place.  Whilst we anticipate it will still be some time before everything is fully back to normal, given that many businesses are still closed and staff furloughed, we can now see some light at the end of the tunnel. 

There are a number of matters introduced by legislation which remain in effect until at least 30 September 2020 and are worth bringing to your attention.

Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020

Schedule 1 – Eviction of tenants from dwelling houses

  • The schedule introduces temporary modifications to the notice periods for residential tenancies, increasing the minimum periods before proceedings can commence.  It also gives the First Tier Tribunal more discretion in issuing an order for ejection.

Schedule  2 – Moratorium on Diligence

  • In relation to the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 2016 and the moratorium that can be applied for by an individual.  The moratorium period has been increased from 6 weeks to 6 months.  The restriction on 1 application within 12 months has also been suspended.

Coronavirus (Scotland)(No.2) Act 2002

Schedule 1

  • Section 6 – Financial criteria for minimal asset process
  • The amount of a debtor’s total debts has been increased from £17,000 to £25,000.
  • Section 7 – Meaning of “qualified creditor”
  • The definition of a qualified creditor has been amended increasing the minimum criteria of debts totalling £3000 up to £10,000.

Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act 2020

Schedule 10

  • Contains a prohibition on winding up petitions presented on the basis of Statutory Demands served between the 1 March 2020  - 30 September 2020.

In addition to the above legislation for those regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority there has been guidance issued in relation to Mortgages, Credit Cards, Personal Loans and Motor Finance.

The full guidance for Sheriff Officers  can be found at or we can email you a copy if required.

We recognise that given the disruption of the last few months some matters will need a particular approach where there are specific issues which have arose due to lockdown.  In these circumstances we value taking the time to discuss the case and plan appropriately.   If you wish to discuss any of these matters please do not hesitate to contact us.

In relation to urgent and time-bar cases the following emergency contact numbers are available; Alex Irvine – 07519096697 and Andrew Fraser – 07775852946

Posted on 14th Jul, 20

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