Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
What is a Debt Arrangement Scheme?
A Debt Arrangement Scheme is a legal debt management scheme available to Scottish residents and is overseen by the Scottish government.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme allows you to apply for a debt payment programme (DPP) which help’s you pay your debts at an affordable rate.
The repayment term can vary depending on how much debt an individual is in and how much they can afford to pay. All interest, fees, penalties or charges on your debts are frozen during a DAS and are then waived once you have completed the scheme.
Individuals are also protected from any legal action from creditors and will not have to have any further direct contact with their creditors. Assets such as vehicles and homes are also protected as long as payments to them are maintained.
This solution is a great way for individuals to get some breathing space to focus on repaying the money owed without the stress of being chased by creditors.
It also offers a fresh financial start as all debts included in a DAS are repaid in full once the scheme is completed.
What kinds of debt can be included?
Debt arrangement schemes generally take on unsecured debts such as:
- Council Tax arrears
- Payday or bank loans
- Utility bills
- Credit/store cards
*Mortgage arrears can be included, but only in certain circumstances
How does a Debt Arrangement Scheme Work?
The first step is to contact a DAS approved Money Adviser to discuss your circumstances. They will then have a confidential discussion with you about your financial circumstances to work through your income and expenditure to calculate your disposable income that will be used to make a monthly payment to your creditors.
Any fees charged and how these are deducted will also be explained to you at this stage.
You can use our Debt Assistant to check if this is the right solution for you. It will show you the different potential minimum monthly payment required for each debt solution.
The results shown are only indicative. Contact details will be requested to discuss your circumstances and conduct a full income and expenditure to help provide the best advice possible.
Should you decide that a DAS is the best debt solution for your circumstances, the money adviser will then make an application for a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) on your behalf as individuals cannot apply for this solution on their own.
A proposal is then sent to your creditors for consideration and approval and they are given 21 days to respond. If they do not respond, it is then presumed that they have consented.
If one or more creditors object, the DPP will then be considered by the DAS Administrator (The Accountant in Bankruptcy). If the AIB deems that the application is ‘fair and reasonable’, they can legally force your creditors to comply with it.
Once approved, the arrangement will be recorded on the DAS register and all you need to do is make one affordable monthly payment to an approved Payments Distributor.
All interest, fees, penalties or charges on your debts are then frozen until you have completed the Debt Payment Programme (DPP). Creditors can also no longer take any recovery or legal action against you at this stage.
There is a monthly management fee deducted from the payments and the remaining balance is then distributed to your creditors. There are also fees for the Payment Distribution service, however, this is paid by your creditors, not you.
Advantages of a Debt Arrangement Scheme
- Creditors cannot take legal action against you once your DAS is approved
- It is dealt with by a Money Adviser on your behalf, relieving you of the stress of dealing with your creditors.
- All interest, fees, penalties or charges on your debts are frozen from the date you apply and are written off when it has been completed.
- Assets such as your home or your car will not be affected as long as you keep up with payments to them.
- Sole traders may be able to include business debts in a DAS.
- Payments are based on what you can reasonably afford within your circumstances.
- If your circumstances change during the DAS, it may be possible to vary your payment amount and/or apply for a payment holiday for up to 6 months.
Disadvantages of a Debt Arrangement Scheme
- The Debt Payment Programme (DPP) will last until your debts are repaid in full, there is no fixed time period.
- You cannot apply for a DAS on your own – you must consult an Approved Money Adviser.
- It can affect your credit rating and may affect your ability to obtain credit in the future.
- It is only available to Scottish residents
You could write off up to 75% of unsecured debt with our debt assistant.
Why Carrington Dean?
Dealing with debt can be confusing, and it isn’t always easy to navigate your way out of it.
At Carrington Dean, we’re here to guide you to that fresh financial start.
With extensive experience in the field and government approved advisers, we are well-equipped to provide you with all the relevant information to help you make an informed decision on how to deal with your debts.
We are Scotland’s largest independent debt solutions company, successfully helping over 20,000 people to resolve their financial difficulties and help them finally have some breathing space.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a Scottish Resident and have unsecured debt you will be eligible for a DAS. However, you must seek advice from a qualified money adviser who will let advise if this is the best solution for your situation.
If your DAS is approved, it will be recorded on the DAS Register. This is available to the public and is used by credit reference agencies, alongside other insolvency registers, to add information to your credit report. This in turn will affect your credit score.
As such, your DAS is likely to have a negative impact on your credit score, however you will be able to build this back up once your arrangement has been completed.
Your payments will be calculated based on what you can afford to pay after you have paid all your essential expenditure.
There are two fees that are also paid from your contributions, an application fee and a payment distribution fee.
The application fee is set at 2% of the monthly contribution, the payment distribution fee is is 4.5%, and the management fee is £35 per month.
Generally, you can include all unsecured debts in a DAS. This includes credit cards, loans, store cards and overdrafts.
Secured debts, such as mortgages and hire purchase agreements, including car finance cannot be included in a DAS.
Unfortunately, if you are in a Protected Trust Deed, are bankrupt or are subject to a bankruptcy order, you are not able to apply.
This is dependent on circumstances, please contact us on 0141 221 2323 for further information and advice.
If your circumstances are to change in any way and you are struggling to make your monthly payments to your DAS, it is important to contact your Money Adviser. They can assess your situation and can make the decision to apply to the DAS administrator for a payment holiday or a variation to reduce your payment amount depending on the severity of your situation.
As long as your missed payment is due to a payment holiday then, subject to certain conditions, creditors are still prevented from taking legal action against you.
Generally, mortgage arrears are not included in your Debt Arrangement Scheme due to being a secured debt. However in certain circumstances, they can be included, so it’s best to contact one of our money advisers for more information and advice.
You are legally bound in your DAS to make the agreed monthly payment. Increased payments can be made, however, if these are a regular occurrence then it may be required to make an application to vary the agreement.