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Dealing with Debt: Finding your feet: Advice for you if you are in debt

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6c Attachment

If your creditor has not been able to get back the money you owe them, then they may be able to 'attach' your property (tangible assets). These attached assets can then be sold to pay your debts. Only in exceptional circumstances can property which is in your, or someone else's, home - be sold.

Go to 6d for details of exceptional circumstances.

What is attachment?

Attachment can be used to try to recover payment from you by attaching articles of value owned by you but held outside the living area of your home, for instance, in your garage or driveway or in buildings used for business.

Before your creditor can go ahead with attachment he or she will normally have taken you to court to legally establish that you are liable to pay the debt. The creditor will, in most cases, serve you with a charge for payment that tells you that unless you pay what you owe within 14 days they are going to take action to get the money that you owe them. Your creditor also has to send you a copy of this booklet.

If you have not paid up in 14 days an officer of court can enter any premises ( other than your home) where your goods are kept and attach and value them. The officer of court must send a report of the valuation to the court. After that has been done your creditor may arrange for your goods to be auctioned to help repay your debt.

There are detailed rules about the kinds of goods that can be attached, when attachments can be carried out and how to stop goods being auctioned after they have been attached.

Remember that a money adviser can help to explain these rules. If you need help try to contact a money adviser right away - Go here for helpline numbers.