Recover Your Debt With iResolve-Legal’s Guide to Court Actions in Scotland

Raising a court action to recover a debt owed to your business can be a daunting thought; at iResolve-Legal we aim to support you through every step of the process. By providing you with the information you need to make the decision to pursue a court action, to explaining the steps you need to take to ensure success.

This guide explains the types of actions that we can raise on your behalf to begin the process of recovering monies owed to you and your business. It is a critical stage in the debt recovery process – without a court order, we cannot enforce your right to your money. The type of court action we will raise on your behalf depends on the amount of money owed.

How do I Recover Debts up to £5,000?

If the money owed by a single debtor does not exceed £5,000, then the Simple Procedure in the Sheriff Court will be used to recover the debt.

scottish court actions - simple procedure flowchart
Simple procedure flowchart

Recover Your Debt by Raising Your Claim

We would complete a pre-printed Claim Form on your behalf to start the action. This requires narrating the circumstances in which the debt has been incurred and whether that is a breach of a written contract or not. In addition, any invoices that support the debt need to be referred to within the Claim Form, although they do not need to be included with the form at this stage. We also need to outline the steps that have been taken to recover the debt before proceeding to make a claim. This can include attempts to discuss with your debtor, your letter before action, or attempts to engage with alternative dispute resolution.


Once we have completed your claim form, we will serve it on the debtor, who will have a set period to respond.


At this stage, the court will issue a timetable to both parties, which will contain a ‘Response Date’. This is the date by which the debtor will be required to outline his defence or lodge a ‘Time to Pay Application.’

Disputed claim

Where the debtor opts to defend the claim and tells the court this, the Sheriff will send out a first written order, which will do one of 5 things:

  1. Refer the case to alternative dispute resolution;
  2. Arrange a case management discussion;
  3. Arrange a hearing;
  4. Advise the Sheriff will decide without a hearing;
  5. Dismiss the case.

Ultimately, the Sheriff will attempt to facilitate settlement of the claim if possible. It is best to provide the Sheriff with as much information about the dispute as possible, including why previous negotiations have failed and your response to the defence. Any documents that support your claim, such as invoices and contracts, should also be provided to the court. Ultimately, the matter may have to proceed to a hearing on the evidence, at which point the Sheriff will make an order for payment if that is justified.

How do I Recover Debts over £5,000?

If the debt is over £5,000, we will use something called the Ordinary Procedure, which proceeds in the Sheriff Court but has more formalities than the Simple Procedure used for smaller debts.

scottish court actions - ordinary procedure flowchart
Ordinary procedure flowchart

Raising your claim

There are no pre-printed forms to raise your claim in Ordinary Procedure, and one of our experienced team will draft the document needed to start your claim. They will do this in consultation with you to ensure they have all the necessary facts. It needs to be approved by the court before serving on the debtor.


Once the court has approved the document, we must formally serve it on the debtor. Once it is in their hands, they have 21 days to advise that they are defending the claim. If they don’t indicate that they are defending the claim, we can ask the court to make an order for payment without further investigation.

Disputed claim

If the claim is disputed, then the debtor will require to lodge a document outlining their defence. The claim then follows the court timetable, which provides for periods to respond to defences, and court hearings to decide what type of hearing is appropriate. There are also dates set by which you’re required to intimate lists of witnesses and documents that you intend to refer to in any court hearing. Our experienced team will guide you through all these dates and ensure everything needed to win your claim is with the court at the appropriate time.

Once the hearing has occurred or negotiation has been successful, the court will make an order for payment of money.

Contact Us To Recover Your Debt and get a Free Initial Assessment & Advice from Our Specialist Solicitors.

We understand that seeking to recover your debt or pursue your client for breaching the terms of your contract or lease can seem daunting, but we will make the process as straightforward as possible for you. When you contact our team, we will take the time to understand the circumstances of your claim. After an initial consultation, our solicitors will then advise you as to whether your claim has a good chance of succeeding and whether we can work with you on a no-win, no fee basis. There is no obligation to continue with your claim at this stage.

To get started with your claim today, contact us today by calling 0141 442 0401 or complete our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will get back to you right away.

Sectors We Work With For Our Guide to Debt Recovery

sector hospitality - iResolve legal


  • Catering costs
  • Event planning outlays
  • Hotel Bills
sectors automative and hire - iResolve legal


  • Hire Purchase agreements
  • Personal Contract Purchase
  • Hire Agreements
  • Lease Agreements
sectors timeshare recovery iResolve legal

Timeshare Recovery

commercial debt recovery solicitors - iResolve legal

Professional Services

  • Architect Fees
  • Structural Engineer Fees
  • Surveyor Fees
  • Legal Fees
  • IT fees
  • Veterinary Fees
  • Accountant fees
landlord and tenant dispute resolution solicitors - iResolve legal

Debt Purchase

Recovery of behalf of debt purchase companies.

Consumer Debt Recovery Solicitors

Financial Sectors

  • Overdrafts
  • Credit cards
  • Loans
  • Store cards
  • Buy now, pay later
  • Catalogue debt
landlord & tenant disputes -sectors property - iResolve legal

Property Sector

  • Estate agency fees
  • Home report outlays
  • Factor costs
  • Gas and Electricity balances