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First right of appropriation


First right of appropriation gives you the right to tell your bank or building society how you want the money paid into your account to be used.

For example: you can ask your bank to only use your housing benefit payment to pay your rent

National Debtline have a sample letter you can send to your bank or building society.

When you make a first right of appropriation request, your bank can make a decision to either freeze your account and/or remove an overdraft facility if you have one.  You need to make sure that you can manage either or both of these situations before you make the request.

Further information

  • you can use the first right of appropriation on any money being paid into your account
  • you may want to do this if money is due to be paid into your account and the account is overdrawn or you want to ensure certain bills are paid first
  • you can instruct your bank to not use specific payments made to your account
  • you can also ask that certain payments made in to your account are used to pay specific bills
  • you will need to put this request in writing to your bank or building society and list the incoming money you want to be protected and the bills you need to be paid first
  • you can list regular payments such as wages, or benefit payments and one off payments in your letter, you will need to tell the bank when the money is due into your account