Section 97 – Full hearing on application for warrant for sale
289.Section 97(1) provides that, at the hearing on an application for warrant to sell attached land, the sheriff must not make any order without first giving any person who has lodged objections under section 92(6) an opportunity to be heard.
290.Under subsection (2), the sheriff may grant the application provided he or she is satisfied that the application is in order. This discretion is subject, however, to a number of other provisions in the Act, namely subsections (3) and (5) of this section and sections 98 (warrant for sale of dwellinghouses), 99 (protections for purchasers under missives) and 102 (land owned in common).
291.Where the sheriff grants the application, the sheriff must grant warrant for sale of the attached land and must appoint a solicitor (either the solicitor specified in the application or another of the sheriff’s choosing) as the appointed person.
292.Subsection (3) provides that the sheriff may, if satisfied that granting the warrant for sale is unduly harsh to the debtor or any other interested person, either refuse the application or grant it and suspend the warrant for a period up to one year.
293.Subsection (4) provides that, where the sheriff grants warrant for sale, the sheriff must specify a time within which the land must be sold, may limit the warrant to part only of the attached land, and may authorise the sale of the attached land by lots.
294.Under subsection (5), the sheriff must refuse the application if satisfied that any of the grounds specified in subsection (6) apply. Those grounds include the ground that, if the attached land were sold, the “net likely proceeds” would not exceed the aggregate of the expenses of the land attachment and either £1,000 or 10 per cent of the outstanding debt (whichever is the lesser). The Scottish Ministers are given power by subsection (7) to alter the figure of £1,000 and the percentage of 10 per cent. That power is exercisable by regulations subject to affirmative resolution procedure (see section 224(4)(b)(i)). Subsection (8) defines “net likely proceeds” as the proceeds of sale less any sums due to other creditors who rank before or equally with the attaching creditor.