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Request to write off a debt - letter

This advice applies to Scotland

If you are unable to pay your debts, you should contact your creditor to let them know and see if they are willing to write off the debt.

This template is to be used for guidance and may not suit your specific situation. If you require more detailed advice and guidance, you can get more help.

If you need more help on using this tool, or you want to read about circumstances when you might use it, see Guidelines for using the letter templates.

Check if your creditor can still take action against you

Your creditors have a limited time to take you to court to repay a debt. For most debts, the time limit is 5 years. The time limit might restart if you write to your creditor or make a payment. If it’s a joint debt, this includes if the other person makes a payment. 

If you haven’t got court papers after 5 years, your debt becomes ‘extinguished’. This means your creditor can’t usually take court action to get their money back - but some creditors might try to argue against this.  

Don’t use this letter if:

  • it’s been over 5 years, because they might not be able to force you to pay

  • it will soon be 5 years, because contacting them might restart the time limit.

Check if the time limit has passedor will pass soon. If you’re not sure, talk to an adviser.

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