Reviewed 22nd November 2019
If you fail to make the required payments, the Debt Payment Programme may be revoked, leaving you exposed to the legal action of creditors who may backdate interest charges and fees. A change in circumstances should be reported to your DAS Approved Advisor straight away. There is inherent flexibility in the scheme should your income lower significantly or you lose your job, for example. You may be able to take a payment break of up to six months if you meet the required criteria.
Debts that will not form part of your Debt Payment Programme include: Some secured loans Student loans Court fines
Under the Debt Arrangement Scheme, all debts included in the Debt Payment Programme will need to be repaid, minus interest and charges. The idea is that several debts are consolidated into one affordable monthly payment that continues until all creditors are repaid.
Creditors generally need to agree to the Debt Payment Programme, but the Accountant in Bankruptcy has the power to approve a Program without the agreement of creditors in certain circumstances.
Yes, this is one of the reasons why the Scottish government introduced the scheme. As long as payments set out in the Debt Payment Programme are met, creditors will not be able to make contact or take legal action against you. All correspondence is dealt with by your DAS Approved Advisor.
A DAS Approved Advisor reviews your income, assets and liabilities to make sure it is the right product for you. A Debt Payment Programme is then drawn up which takes into account your household expenses such as rent, food and utilities, and sets out how much you need to pay against your debts each month, and for how long. This ensures that your living expenses are covered, and that debts are consolidated into a single affordable payment.
There is no specified timescale for completion of a Debt Payment Programme, as each case is unique and depends on your financial situation. There is flexibility built into the scheme if your circumstances alter, however.
You have more time to pay off your debts Interest and fees are frozen once a Debt Payment Programme has been agreed Your creditors are not able to take any further legal action Debts are consolidated into a single payment that you know is affordable because your financial situation has already been reviewed by a professional money advisor Escalating debts are halted, providing some relief from stress You can avoid full insolvency as you will still be paying your debts in full
The Debt Arrangement Scheme, like any debt management product, may affect your credit rating. If you enter into a DAS then your details will be recorded on the DAS register. This is a register which can be accessed free of charge. Creditors and credit reference agencies check this register on a regular basis and may update your credit file to reflect this information. While you have a Debt Payment Programme under DAS, you will not normally be able to access additional credit. There are exemptions to this which your money adviser can further explain.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme caters for unsecured debt in the main, including: Overdrafts Personal loans Payday loans Credit cards An amendment to the Debt Arrangement Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2011 now means that mortgage arrears may be included in a Debt Payment Programme.
Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.