Govan Law Centre

Time orders under s.129, Consumer Credit Act 1974 


A typical last resort use of section 129 procedure in Scotland:

... a couple own their own home.  They've repaid most of their mortgage. They take out a second loan for various purposes - this 'regulated credit agreement' is 'secured' over their home. It has a very high interest rate. They default on the payments and ignore all court documents. Decree passes. They get a letter from sheriff officers advising of a date for physical ejection. The Mortgage Rights (Scotland) Act 2001 might not be applicable (e.g. decree passed before the 2001 was in force; a 'section 2 application' must usually be made before final decree - but reponing procedure may be available - see further). However, a section 129 application could make the difference between keeping your home and being made homeless ...  Read on to find out how to make a Comsumer Credit Act time order application - this is an important remedy for debtors.

the above example is taken from a recent Govan Law Centre case, where a scheduled eviction (following a court action on the default of a £4000 loan) was prevented using section 129 - even although decree had been granted  back in 1999.

Time orders under section 129 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 can be used for 'regulated agreement' debts - most credit/finance/bank loans and debts will be covered under this Act (cf. time to pay directions and order available under the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 which apply to most money/debts generally).

Time orders under the 1974 Act apply to regulated agreement debts under £25,000 (£15,000 if the loan was taken out before 1 May 1998). Typical debts covered will include: (a) hire purchase (b) unsecured credit and (c) certain forms of secured credit (second loans etc., secured over heritable property).  There are certain exemptions, but if in doubt take advice from a law centre solicitor, private firm of solicitors or your local advice agency.

A section 129 time order can't be used if you have already used time to pay under the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 - if you have not, then you can go for a section 129 time to pay application even where an eviction has been scheduled (following an action raised under the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970).  For an example of a recent s.129 case see: Cedar Holdings Ltd v. Begum.

The first thing to do is to complete a formal Application Form
Click here to download an application form as a PDF file

Applications under section 129 are not used very often - many advice agencies may not be aware of them, and/or may not be aware of the possible complications which may or may not arise. You will also need a solicitor, generally, to serve the time to pay application. If in doubt always take advice from a law centre solicitor, private firm of solicitors or your local advice agency.

If the Sheriff Clerk won't accept your application (for example, as he or she has never dealt with a section 129 application before) you should refer them to the leading Scottish case on this remedy. We have reproduced it below, in full and in two different formats, for quick access:

Murie McDougall Ltd v. Sinclair 1994 SLT (Sh Ct) 74  (html)

Murie McDougall Ltd v. Sinclair 1994 SLT (Sh Ct) 74  (PDF download)