Step 4 Dealing with your non-priority debts

Applying for time to pay

See our fact sheet:

Time to pay directions and orders

If your creditor has started court action, or has already got a decree, you may be able to apply to the sheriff court for time to pay the debt. If the court accepts your application for time to pay, and you keep making the payments the court orders, your creditor cannot take most types of further action against you.

Extra advice:

time to pay offer not accepted?

If your creditor does not accept your time to pay offer, there will be a court hearing. This will look at how reasonable your offer was. This could mean that legal costs are added to your original debt.


creditors who take action against you in the wrong country

If you live in Scotland and took your debt out there, a creditor should not try to take action against you in another country, for example England. If they try to do this, contact us for advice.

Partnerships and limited companies

  • If you are in a partnership, any court action should be taken against the partnership using its name, or in the Court of Session case with the names of the individual partners added.
  • You may not be able to use the time to pay direction procedure as you are not being taken to court as an individual. Try negotiating time to pay with the creditor direct. If they don’t accept your offer, you should ask a solicitor to represent you at the court hearing. Ask the creditor to consider continuing the case. This means a new hearing date will be set to give the partnership time to pay the debt back. Or, if the creditor insists on the decree being granted (that is, insists on a court order for payment being made), ask them to hold off using diligence to give you time to pay.
  • If you are a director and the company has been taken to court, it is important that you get legal advice from a solicitor before making any response to the court action. If you do not reply properly, it could result in the company being seen as trading while insolvent. This is an offence under the Insolvency Act. It is also a good idea to get legal advice if you are taken to court as an individual because you have signed a personal guarantee. This is because your home may be at risk if the creditor decides to use bankruptcy proceedings against you.