Trust Deed Eligibility
If you have problem debt, there are many options that you could consider. A Trust Deed is a formal debt solution for people in Scotland who are struggling with unsecured debt. It is only available to residents living in Scotland, so if you live in England or Wales an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or Debt Management Plan (DMP) might be the right solution for you.
A Trust Deed typically lasts for 4 years, during which time you will make affordable monthly payments which will be split between your creditors. At the end of the period, any remaining debt will be written off.
Trust Deed Eligibility
The criteria for being able to enter into a Trust Deed is fairly strict as it is a formal and legal debt solution.
The criteria you must fit to be eligible is:
- You must live in Scotland or have lived in Scotland in the last 12 months. You may also qualify if you have a place of business in Scotland.
- Have more than £5,000 in total of unsecured debts – if you are in a couple you will need to have a minimum of £5,000 of debt individually in order to qualify.
- You must be able to pay a monthly contribution due to having a sufficient expendable income this will usually be worked out by subtracting your expenditure from your income to give you a ‘disposable income’
- Be insolvent. This means you are unable to pay back your debts are your debts are greater than your assets. You must not be able to pay your debts in full in under 48 months
- Your income can’t be solely from benefits, and any contribution amount can’t derive from benefits, the non-benefit income must equal or exceed the payment amount.
- You can’t have been bankrupt in the last 5 years
What debts can be included in my Trust Deed?
When deciding if a Trust Deed is the right solution for you, it is best to consider the types of debt you have. The debts that can be included in a Trust Deed are:
- Credit Cards
- Personal Loans
- Pay Day Loans
- Store Cards
- Other Unsecured Debt
Debts that can’t be included in your Trust Deed are:
- Hire Purchase Agreements
- Other Secured Debts
Other debt solutions
If you have little or no disposable income and no assets, it’s unlikely you will qualify for a Trust Deed. There are other options available to you, however, which might be more suitable.
Sequestration is the Scottish equivalent to bankruptcy. It is a formal insolvency process, whereby a Trustee takes control of your assets and will deal with creditors on your behalf. It is important to note that unlike with a Trust Deed where your home is protected, your Trustee can sell your home. You can make repayments for a year to 4 years, depending on your circumstances.
This may be an option for you if you don’t have enough disposable income for a Trust Deed.
Debt Arrangement Scheme
A Debt Arrangement Scheme or DAS is a solution available in Scotland which allows you to freeze the interest on your debts and replay over a period which suits you. Unlike a Trust Deed, you won’t write any debt off and will pay your debts back until they are satisfied.
Debt Management Plan
A Debt Management Plan is similar to a DAS as it involves offering your creditors a reduced monthly payment which you will pay until your debts are completely repaid. It is an informal debt solution which you can organise and propose yourself, although it is advisable to seek advice. Unlike a Trust Deed, there is no obligation for your creditors to freeze any interest and charges on your debts and they can also change their mind as the agreement is not legally binding.
If you aren’t eligible for a Trust Deed because you aren’t resident in Scotland, you may be eligible for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement.
Other criteria could affect whether a Trust Deed is the right arrangement for you, so it’s important to get expert advice as soon as possible.