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Opposing exceptional attachment orders - GLC guide on what to do after an order has been granted


In practice, many factoring companies (private bodies employed by the owners of tenement flats) are currently using Exceptional Attachment Orders (EAO - the replacement diligence to poindings and warrant sales) to enforce payment of modest debts.   For example, it is not uncommon at Glasgow Sheriff Court to see factors seeking EAOs against their customers for two or three hundred pounds.   Unfortunately, many people will only seek advice after an EAO has been granted - missing the opportunity to oppose the application directly.  Is there anything that can be done after the court has granted an EAO?

It may be possible to appeal the order to the Sheriff Principal, however, the debtor must first obtain 'leave to appeal' from the sheriff who granted the order.   This can be requested by way of a Motion (an application to the court).   The legal basis for challenging the EAO may be as follows (please note: this ground of appeal may not be available in all cases: it will depend upon the facts and circumstances in each case) -

The paragraphs above could form the basis of a Note of Appeal; in some cases the debtor may have few if any goods which could be competently attached by way of an EAO.   In that eventuality, an additional paragraph may be added setting out how the debtor has no goods worth attaching - for example:

Defenders should also check to see if their factor has applied 'administration charges'.   Many factors charge customers a high rate of 'late interest' at several percent per month, plus a £15 'administration charge' for each reminder letter.   Some factors appear to repeatedly issue reminder letters as way to generate fees.   Such administration charges are really penalty charges, and could be challenged on the same basis as unfair bank charges: see Govan Law Centre's www.bankcharges.info for more information on how to challenge penalty charges.

If you are subject to an EAO you should consult a solicitor experienced in the field of debt recovery law.   The Law Society of Scotland may be able to provide details of firms who can undertake this field of work.

Please note that Govan Law Centre can only act for clients within Glasgow; and in practice due to our limited resources that often means clients within the South West of Glasgow only.