Creditor Petition

You are a creditor if you are owed money by a debtor. If you are trying to recoup monies owed to you by a debtor you may be able to petition the sheriff court to make them bankrupt.


As a creditor you can ask a sheriff to award bankruptcy against a debtor if:

  • you are owed at least £5,000 - this includes any fees, interest or charges added to the original debt; or
  • you apply for a joint petition with other creditors providing the combined debts are at least £3000 ; and
  • you have sent a copy of the Scottish Government's Debt Advice and Information Package the debtor (you must have sent this at least two weeks and not more than 12 weeks before you make your petition); and
  • you can show the debtor is apparently insolvent.

When someone is apparently insolvent they appear not to be able to pay their debts. The sheriff will require evidence to suport this, usually an expired charge for payment or statutory demand.

The trustee in a trust deed

If the debtor has not co-operated with the trustee in a trust deed, the trustee has the right to apply to the sheriff to make the debtor bankrupt if they think this is in the creditors' best interests. The trustee does not have to demonstrate the previous conditions.

Considering making someone bankrupt?

Before you consider making someone bankrupt you should take steps to ensure that:

  • there is not already an award of bankruptcy against the debtor; or

  • there is not already a petition before the court for the debtors bankruptcy; or

  • the debtor is not participating in the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

You can check these details by carrying out a search of the Register of Insolvencies (RoI) and the DAS Register.

*Please note that public online searches of the RoI and DAS Register are free.