What is a Debt Arrangement Scheme?
Introduced by the Scottish government in 2004, a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is intended to help the thousands of people throughout Scotland who are not quite managing to get in control of their debts. The process does not require you to become insolvent, as would be the case if you agreed to a Trust Deed or entered into sequestration.
Setting up a DAS involves us coming up with a Debt Payment Programme (DPP), which will be a sequence of repayments to your creditors based on what you can afford. Unlike other forms of debt solution, no debt will be written off. They payments will continue until you have paid your debts in full.
Throughout the DPP, all additional fees and interest that would apply normally are frozen. This is a welcome break, allowing you to make real progress on the balance you owe rather than just meeting minimum repayments while watching your debt continue to rise.
Creditors cannot contact you throughout the payment programme, and they are not allowed to take any form of legal action against you in an attempt to reclaim any money.
If you have a reliable income and could eventually realistically pay back your debts, a DAS allows some breathing space, so you can get on with it without the constant pressure from creditors as well as mounting interest rates and other fees.
Are you eligible for a Debt Arrangement Scheme?
As a Scottish initiative, to qualify for a DAS you must live here. After accounting for your day-to-day living costs, you must have a remaining income which will allow you to realistically pay off the debts in full. This is more important than how much you owe; as long as you can realistically pay it back the amount you owe is irrelevant.
Most types of unsecured debts are included. If you are in mortgage or secured loan arrears then these debts can be included, but regular ongoing mortgages and secured loans are not eligible to be included.
If you have recently entered sequestration, or going through the process of a Trust Deed, you will not qualify for a DAS.
How do I set up a DAS?
Before doing anything, it is best to get in contact with our team of fantastic advisers first. If setting up a DAS does end up being the best course of action for you then you must first have had counsel from an approved money advisor like us. Only an approved money advisor can make the payment for you.
It is also worth considering that organising a DPP is not the best course of action. In this case, our advisers can analyse your finances and suggest which solution is most appropriate in terms of moving our situation forward.
If you do end up applying for a DAS, there are four steps:
Step 1: After getting in contact with us, our advisers will discuss your finances with you in order to get an idea of your circumstances. All of this information will be totally confidential. This discussion will allow us to work out what you can pay after accounting for your monthly essential expenses.
If our team determines that you can afford to repay your debt or debts without becoming insolvent, then we will propose a payment plan for you to consider and, all going well, accept.
Step 2: If you do accept the DPP then we will send out the application and make sure that all of your creditors are onboard. If the creditors do not accept the proposal they have 21 days to say so. However, if the proposal is deemed as “fair and reasonable” by an independent governmental DAS administrator, then the creditors rejection is denied, and the process can move forward.
There is an appeal process you can opt to take if the process does fail at this point. We can offer alternative advice if the application is rejected again.
Step 3: When your application is accepted, you will begin your DPP and we will organise the distribution of the money between your creditors. Any fees and interest that would normally apply to your outstanding balance will be frozen.
In terms of the charges that apply for our services, we will charge your creditors not you. A Debt Arrangement Scheme costs you nothing.
Step 4: This payment scheme will continue until all of your debts are paid, which might take some time. However progress will finally be consistent, and our team will be behind you for the duration – however long it takes.
Once you are finished you can finally enjoy a life without debt!
There are tens of thousands of Scots across the country who are struggling to repay their debts and need a bit of help. If you are fighting to keep on top of your debts, but think it is realistic for you to pay them in full eventually, then a Debt Arrangement Scheme could be a good solution for you.
Calls to our office are free, and so is the impartial advice you can get from our fantastic and professional team. If you don’t want to take things any further following our consultation then that’s absolutely fine, but we’re sure we can suggest something that works for you!
Call us on 0800 808 5124 for more information.