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Debt advice

Glossary of debt terms

Some of the most commonly used debt terms are contained in our glossary. You can use our glossary to find out what these terms mean.


(Also known as sequestration in Scotland) is a legal declaration that someone cannot pay their debts. If a person is declared bankrupt, control of things that they own is passed to a trustee who may sell them to pay money owed to creditors. A regular payment from a person’s income may also have to be made.


Any person, business or organisation that is owed money by another.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

A Scottish Government debt management tool. Allows a debtor to repay their debts through a Debt Payment Programme by giving more time for repayments, free from the threat of enforcement (diligence) or bankruptcy.


Any person who owes money to another.


A formal order of court that says the debtor must pay money to a creditor. This might follow court action such as:

  • a Simple Procedure for up to £5000
  • Ordinary cause for greater than £5000


Various forms of legal process taken by creditors to enforce repayment of overdue debts.

Heritable Property

Property in the form of land, houses, and buildings, so-called because it passed under the former law to the heir on the owner's death.

Insolvency Practitioner

A person (usually, but not necessarily, a chartered accountant) licensed and authorised to act as a trustee in sequestrations or trust deeds.


A written authority to do something.

Protected Trust Deed (PTD)

A form of insolvency that transfers a debtor’s estate to a trustee to be realised for the benefit of creditors.


Relating to, involving, or with the intention of inflicting punishment.

Statutory Moratorium

A protection from creditor debt enforcement. This protection is available to individuals as well as certain entities.


A person who administers a bankruptcy or trust deed. In sequestrations, a trustee can be either the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) or a private insolvency practitioner.

Page last updated:
15 Sep 2022

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