Sample letter

Time has run out to recover a debt (sole name)

​Use this letter to help you dispute liability for 'simple contract' debts where a creditor has not contacted you for over five years. You must be reasonably sure that you have not made a payment or written acknowledging that you owe the debt during the five year period. You can information about how to use this letter in our fact sheet Time limits for recovering debts.

Letter in joint names

You can choose to send a letter in your own name or in joint names. You may have a debt in joint names, or want to write to your creditors together because you have worked out a joint budget.
  • Fill in your contact details, account number and any extra information you want to include in the grey shaded areas.

  • Today’s date will be added automatically.

  • Download your letter to your computer for saving and printing by clicking on ‘Download pdf’ or ‘Download doc’ on the left.

  • Sign each letter and enclose a copy of your budget if needed.

24 November 2020

Dear Sir/Madam

Account No:

You have contacted me regarding the account with the above reference number, which you claim I owe. I do not admit any liability for your claim.

The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 Part 1, Section 6 states the following.

“If after the appropriate date, an obligation to which this section applies (an appropriate debt) has subsisted for a continuous period of five years-

(a) without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and
(b) without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged,
then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished…”

Also, the Financial Conduct Authority's Consumer Credit sourcebook states the following:

"In Scotland, a statute barred debt ceases to exist and is no longer recoverable if:
(1) a relevant claim on behalf of the lender or owner has not been made during the relevant limitation period; and
(2) the debt has not been acknowledged by, or on behalf of, the customer during the relevant limitation period." 7.15.3

"A firm must not continue to demand payment from a customer after the customer has stated that he will not be paying the debt because it is statute barred." 7.15.8

Unless you can provide evidence of payment or written contact from me in the relevant period under Part 1 Section 6 of the above Act, you are no longer able to take any court action against me to recover the amount you allege I owe.

Please confirm in writing that you will not make any further contact about the above claim and confirm that this matter is now closed.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully