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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Ordinary Cause: Preliminary actions

In some instances you may decide to enforce an ordinary cause decree by means of an attachment/exceptional attachment (DMBM670420 / DMBM670720).

“Charge to Pay” - payment of debt plus expenses to be made within 14 days

However before you can proceed by this method you must instruct the sheriff officer to charge the defender to pay the debt plus expenses within 14 days.

To do this the sheriff officer will serve a document known as a “charge” on the defender. This document requests payment and warns the defender of the diligence which will follow should default continue. The defender is liable for the expenses incurred in serving this charge.

Instructing the Sheriff Officer to attach

On expiry of the above “14 day” period for payment you can then instruct the sheriff officer to attach as long as, wherever appropriate, you have provided the defender with debt advice and information package (DMBM670420).