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Acknowledgement of debt

When signed, this document will acknowledge the debt that is owed by one person to another, the reason why the debt arose and the amount owed. This serves two very important purposes:

1. It makes it easier to prove the existence of a debt if it is later disputed.

2. It can interrupt or suspend the effect of:

  • In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Limitation Act 1980 which causes a debt to become unenforceable after 6 years
  • In Scotland, the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 which causes a debt to become unenforceable after 5 years in Scotland

In the latter case, this document can have the effect of restarting the clock and making the limitation period start afresh, although it will not have this effect if the acknowledgement is made after the limitation period has already expired or if the acknowledgement is not made to the person to whom the debt is owed (or his/her agent).

Compatible region(s): England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland

Acknowledgement of debt

When signed, this document will acknowledge the debt that is owed by one person to another, the reason why the debt arose and the amount owed. This serves two very important purposes:

1. It makes it easier to prove the existence of a debt if it is later disputed.

2. It can interrupt or suspend the effect of:

  • In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Limitation Act 1980 which causes a debt to become unenforceable after 6 years
  • In Scotland, the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973 which causes a debt to become unenforceable after 5 years in Scotland

In the latter case, this document can have the effect of restarting the clock and making the limitation period start afresh, although it will not have this effect if the acknowledgement is made after the limitation period has already expired or if the acknowledgement is not made to the person to whom the debt is owed (or his/her agent).

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Acknowledgement of debt (Guidance Notes)