The attachment proceeds very much like a normal attachment whereby the officer will list assets belonging to the debtor and value them.
The list of items excluded from interim attachment is more extensive than for an ordinary attachment. Briefly, the exclusions are below;
- Any item in a dwellinghouse
- Any article excluded from attachment
- A mobile home
- Perishable items
- Where the debtor trades any stock or materials for manufacture
In practice, accordingly interim attachments will be restricted to commercial premises and even there there are restrictions on stock and materials for manufacture
Contrary to what might have been expected, decree in the action does not give the creditor the right to sell the attached goods. Instead, once decree is granted the creditor has 6 months to attach the goods again failing which the interim attachment will fall. At that second attachment other goods belonging to the debtor may also be attached. It should be noted that both the expenses of the interim attachment and the attachment after the decree are recoverable from the debtor.
There are clear circumstances where the use of interim attachment is extremely restricted. On the other hand, there was a gap in diligence on the dependence as far as moveables was concerned and we have no doubt this will be a useful tool for creditors in the right circumstances.