Bankruptcy has always been considered to be the last resort for people having debt problems but these days there are other options that one may need to consider. In Scotland there is what they call a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). It is basically a formal arrangement entered into between a debtor and a creditor to pay off multiple debts within a certain period. The good thing about this scheme is the fact that your assets are protected as long as you make your payments on time.
The parties involved in this arrangement are the debtor, an Approved Money Advisor and creditor(s). It is a legal requirement that a Debt Arrangement Scheme is processes by a qualified Money Advisor as they have the necessary skills ans qualifications to ensure that your case is handled professionally.
Who qualifies for a Debt Arrangement Scheme?
In order to qualify for this scheme you must be a Scottish citizen and you must also have at least 2 debts. If you are bankrupt or under a bankruptcy restriction order it may be difficult to qualify for this scheme as is with individuals who have got protected trust deeds in place.
What are the advantages of a DAS?
The advantages of a Debt Arrangement Scheme are that you can only pay what you can afford over a certain period of time. The payment is made as a single payment to a qualified Money Advisor and they will then divide the payment between all the creditors on a pro rata basis. You do not have to deal with creditors directly; your Money Advisor will do this for you and take care of all the negotiations and administration on your behalf.
Will my house be repossessed?
In addition to that you will have legal protection against all creditors. Your house can not be repossessed during arrangement period as well. All interest charges are frozen from the day the application is approved and will be written off when the plan has been completed.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme can be quite helpful during the most difficult times as it allows you to make monthly payments based on what you can afford. This means you will be able to stay on top of your finances and any creditor dealings will be dealt with by your Money Advisor.
Are interest and charges frozen?
All interest and charges are frozen during the duration of the plan which will save you money as you will be focusing on reducing your debt rather than paying off the interest. The payments that you make every month are reviewed on a regular basis so that any changes that may affect your personal situation can be easily taken into consideration.
What happens if I run into difficulties repaying to the scheme?
In the event that you have difficulties making payments due to changed circumstances you can negotiate to have the payments reduced, this could be because t you could have become sick or you have recently had a baby. In cases where you do not keep up with payments creditors may take some action to repossess your house but this is the worst case scenario as most will be willing to negotiate for a repayment arrangement. This is done by applying for what is known as a Section 2 Order which will delay and prevent you from losing your house.
If it turns out that you need a reduced repayment figure then your Money Advisor will negotiate this for you, or if you have got some capital, i.e. savings or investments then you may offer to pay the debt in full and final settlement; this will be at a discounted rate and this will be only acceptable if you are able to prove that you are not able to pay the full amount that is due.
How long will it take to repay my debt?
The duration of the programme entirely depends on how much debt you have and how much you can afford to repay. This will be calculated by your Money Advisor who will work with you to reach an affordable monthly repayment figure.
How much does it cost to setup?
The Debt Arrangement Scheme is a free service so there are no setup fees involved. There are numerous unscrupulous companies out there who will charge you a fee so be careful not to get stung. Remember to always check that the person you are dealing with is a qualified Money Advisor as this is a legal requirement for the Debt Arrangement Scheme Process.
For more information on the Scottish DAS Scheme then visit our website and speak with a qualified Money Advisor who will explain the Debt Arrangement Scheme process in full and answer any queries you may have.