How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12081
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
Type Your Scots Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

I have a personal debt problem.

This answer was rated:

I have a personal debt problem.
Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I'm still typing my question out, if you could bear with me a moment...

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


From about 1989 to 2003 I was a contract computer programmer.

Rates were good & it was a comfortable living.

Sadly a couple of factors (foreign contractors, falling number of customers) led to more or less the end for the sort of contracting I did,

I was approached by a guy I had known from University who had a company in the US.

The deal was to design and make a pipeline inspection camera which he would then sell.

It took longer than I thought and I borrowed money from two of my friends who were still contracting.

There was no written agreement, it was just understood that I would pay them back as & when possible.

Sadly, my 'friend' in the US decided to stiff me by taking my design and making it himself. Of course, I had nothing written down and in any case the market moved on shortly thereafter and the design (as it was) became useless to him.

That was back in 2004 - 2005.

Neither of my friends has asked me for any money back until about a month ago when one of them contacted me to ask if he could put a charging order on my property for the debt ( about £30,000).

I'm not at all happy with the thought that he could sell my home out from under me for what is an unsecured debt.

Have you admitted the existence of either debt to either friend within the last five years?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good question...

The guy that wants the charging order got me to sign a piece of paper to say that I owed him the money but that might have been over 5 years ago.

You see, whilst it might be morally questionable, if these debts are over five years old and there has been no steps to recover them in court and no acknowledgement of the debt within the past five years, legally they are time barred. Here is the law:
"6. Extinction of obligations by prescriptive periods of five years.
(1) If, after the appropriate date, an obligation to which this section applies has subsisted for a
continuous period of five years
(a) without any relevant claim having been made in relation to the obligation, and
(b) without the subsistence of the obligation having been relevantly acknowledged,
then as from the expiration of that period the obligation shall be extinguished."
Happy to discuss further.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that.

I'll need to check when I signed that admission of debt.

I'm happy to close this question.

How can I contact you again via Just Answer if I need to open a new question?



You can specifically request JGM if you have a question in the future.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you