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The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a debt payment plan introduced by the Scottish Government (then the Scottish Executive). A similar solution for people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is a debt management plan. This service is often free, however there are some money advisors who will charge for this.

A Debt Arrangement Scheme will allow you to pay your debts in a managed way, without the worry of your creditors pressurising you. A Debt Arrangement Scheme is available across Scotland. We’ve helped people with a DAS from Inverness to the Scottish borders. The most popular locations for a DAS are in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Falkirk and Stirling.

A Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) offers you:

  • Help and advice on managing debts
  • To freeze interest, fees and charges on your debt, this will come into force from the date your DAS debt payment plan is accepted, as long as the DPP is adhered to.
  • Protection from enforcement, bankruptcy and loss of your home (providing you pay your mortgage/rent)
  • Should your circumstances change an aftercare service is provided
  • Breathing space and have more time to pay back your debt

The debt solution is often free for people paying debts under an approved debt payment programme. However, you really need to check this with your chosen money adviser as they may charge you for their service, prior to entering into any agreement. If DAS is a suitable solution for you we would give you all the necessary information so you could make an informed choice.

Under DAS, a single regular payment is made to an approved payments distributor. If you keep to the agreed payments, legally your creditors cannot carry out enforcement action against you.

Likewise, creditors are unable to take enforcement action against somebody who has noted their intention to apply for a debt payment programme or has an application awaiting approval for more information.

One of the benefits of the Debt Arrangement Scheme is it freezes interest, fees and charges on your debt from the date your DAS debt payment plan is accepted.

You would not be able to enter a DAS if you are any of the following:

  • Bankrupt
  • Entered into a Protected Trust Deed
  • If you are subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order or undertaking
  • You have incurred the debt by illegal or fraudulent means.

Five parties involved in DAS

Once you are on DAS, there are five parties involved:

  1. The debtor: Person or persons with personal debts and has agreed to a debt payment programme (DPP) with a DAS approved money adviser.
  2. The DAS approved money adviser: Person who provides debt management advice to the debtor.
  3. The creditor: Companies who is owed money and has agreed to or is obliged to accept payments under a debt payment programme (DPP).
  4. The DAS administrator: Person who is responsible for maintaining the DAS register which contains details of debt payment programmes, the approval of money advisers and payments distributors, and the approval of a debt payment programme.
    The Accountant In Bankruptcy is the DAS administrator. DAS is NOT a form of Bankruptcy.
  5. The payments distributor: Person who will distribute the sums of money received to creditors in accordance with the debt payment programme.

What is a debt payment programme (DPP)?

If you agree that a debt payment programme under DAS is the solution for you, your DAS approved money advisor will ask for the creditors to agree to a DPP.

This agreement allows you to pay your debts over a longer period of time. The programme will be for any amount of money or for a reasonable length of time.

If all creditors agree or deemed to have agreed (as they have not responded) then the DPP under DAS is automatically accepted.

If the creditors object then the DAS administrator can still approve the DPP if it is fair and reasonable to do so.

If there is any change in circumstances the programme can be altered to take account of this.

Advantages of DAS

  1. DAS is often free for people paying debts under an approved debt payment programme (DPP). However, not all are free and some money advisers will charge for this.
  2. DAS also protects you from execution of action that can be taken by your creditors and it will freeze interest, fees and charges on your debt, from the date of acceptance of a debt payment programme.
  3. Using DAS successfully will show that you’ve learned valuable money management skills. You will be able to start afresh and make your financial future easier for you to manage.
DAS prevents court enforcement

Sometimes, due to unforeseen changes in people’s circumstances they are unable to meet their contractual obligations. If that happens, the courts may step in and, for example, order someone to pay for the goods they bought on credit.

However, inclusion in DAS can prevent enforcement of debt by the courts. So if you keep to the agreed costs under the DAS, your creditors cannot carry out enforcement action against you or make you bankrupt.

Likewise, creditors are not allowed to take enforcement action against you if you have noted an intention to apply for a debt payment programme or have an application awaiting for approval.

In Scotland, there are a number of ways that people can be made to pay by the courts. The most common forms of enforcement (known as diligence) are: arrestment, earnings arrestment and attachment.

Disadvantages Of DAS

  1. Your credit rating will be affected when entering a DAS and usually this will last for 6 years from the last default
  2. You may take longer to repay the full amount of debt owed
  3. You are only able to apply for limited credit while in a debt arrangement scheme
What is the criteria for DAS?

DAS is only available for people living in Scotland. A debt advisor will be able to tell you if DAS is suitable for your specific situation.

Enquire today for free confidential DAS advice.

DAS Examples

Lynne, 52 years old, Govan
Lynne was 52, living in Govan and over the years she had built up multiple small debts. Her debt level was approximately £3,000, and although she could afford to pay money each month to the debt, her minimum contractual obligations were more than she could afford. 
 
It was decided that a Debt Arrangement Scheme would be the best debt solution for Lynne. All interest and charges would be frozen and she would be debt free in a reasonable period of time. Lynne was happy with the outcome; she was happy to make the one payment each month and felt good knowing her creditors wouldn’t still be contacting her.
Patricia, 62 years old, Edinburgh

Patricia was in full time employment, though had recently separated from her partner. This had put pressure on her finances and she was falling behind with her contractual obligations to her creditors. After completing an income and expenditure with her it became apparent that she could afford £200 a month towards her debt.

Her debt level was £7,300 and if she paid the £200 she would be debt free in just over 36 months. Patricia was delighted with this because it meant she could plan for future without debt. 

Debt Arrangement Scheme FAQs
What Happens When I Come To The End Of My DAS?

Once you have made all the payments to your DAS it will be closed and you will be discharged. The creditors cannot hold you liable for any debt that was included in the DAS. Your details will be removed from the DAS register.

I Forgot About A Debt Can I Add This In Now That My DAS Has Started?

Yes, it is common for people to forget about a debt they have, especially if you have not heard from the creditor for a period of time. In order to add a debt, you must contact the company dealing with your DAS and inform them. They will ask for proof of the debt. The only exception is if you have obtained the debt after entering the DAS or it has been obtained using criminal/fraudulent methods

I Can’t Afford To Pay My DAS This Month?

If you fall into this category you should contact your money advisor and explain your situation, they can apply for a payment break if your problem is temporary and things are likely to get back to normal.

What Happens If I Just Stop Paying My DAS?

If you decide to stop paying the DAS may be revoked, this will mean that you will become responsible for repaying all of your debt again. Interest and charges will be added back on and the debt may be larger than when you started the DAS.

I Have Come Into Money And Want To Pay My DAS Off?

This is called entering a composition and you should discuss this with your money advisor. It can only be offered if you have already paid back more than 70% of your debts or if you have been paying for 12 years.

How Much Debt Do I Need To Enter A DAS?

There is no minimum or maximum amount of debt required to enter a debt arrangement scheme, so long as it can be repaid within a reasonable period of time.