A new diligence, "Money Attachment" was introduced on 23 November 2009. It provides creditors with an additional tool to improve their recovery prospects. As the name suggests creditors can now attach money, including cash or cheques in the possession of the debtor. The one exclusion to this general rule is that money cannot be attached within a dwellinghouse
The procedure is fairly straightforward in that the Sheriff Officer will attend at the debtor’s premises, following expiry of a Charge for Payment and provision to the debtor of a Debt Advice Pack, and attach sufficient cash and/or cheques value to cover the debt plus costs. The money is immediately removed from the premises by the officer and thereafter a Report of Money Attachment is made to the Sheriff within 14 days of the attachment. At this point the Creditor (not the officer) is required to make an application for a Payment Order authorising the Sheriff Officer to realise the value of the attached money including appointing the Officer as the irrevocable agent in relation to any banking instruments for the purpose of cashing these items. The Sheriff officer then completes a Final Statement of Money Attachment within 14 days of funds being paid to the creditor or, if required, released back to the debtor.
This is a somewhat simplified outline of the rules that have been introduced, as the general principle is very similar to current attachment procedures.
In view of the decline in the use of cash and cheques generally, the diligence might not be as effective as it may have been in the past. The prospect of tills and safes being opened may be sufficient to encourage settlement and make this an effective choice of diligence