Trust Deed – Scotland


Trust Deed – Scotland

What is a Trust Deed in Scotland?

A Trust Deed is a debt solution in Scotland that reduces unaffordable debt repayments down to one single monthly payment and writes off up to 75% of unsecured debts.

A Protected Trust Deed acts as a formal, legally binding agreement between an individual and their creditors. It is only available to Scottish residents and will generally last for a period of four years, although it can take some people longer than four years to repay what they owe.

Scottish Trust Deeds are designed to help those with a debt level over £5,000 who are struggling to repay their debts.

Why choose Carrington Dean?

  • Write off unsecured debts over £5,000.
  • Stop interest and charges soaring.
  • Reduced payments from £85 per month.


What is the purpose of a Trust Deed?

The purpose of a Trust Deed is allowing people struggling with debt to pay back what they owe gradually through a series of affordable monthly payments.

Trust Deeds are most useful for people who are in debt but have access to a regular income that can be put towards the money they owe. A Trust Deed may be a useful debt solution for you if you:

  • Live in Scotland
  • Have debts of £5,000 or more
  • Have access to a regular source of income and can keep up with monthly repayments

It’s important to remember that this solution is only available to Scottish Residents. If you are based in England or Wales, you may be better suited to other debt solutions, like an IVA, a Debt Management Plan, or a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).

How do you set up a Trust Deed?

A Trust Deed can only be set up through a licensed Insolvency Practitioner (IP), a debt professional who will act as the Trustee for the arrangement.

Your Insolvency Practitioner will help you draft a repayment proposal, which they will then share with your creditors.

If both you and your creditors agree to enter into a Trust Deed, your IP will manage the Trust Deed on your behalf, including handling your monthly payments and distributing those payments among your creditors (the people or parties you owe money to).

What is the difference between between a Trust Deed and a Protected Trust Deed?

In any Trust Deed, the individual makes a single monthly payment towards their debts based on what they can afford, and any debt remaining at the end of the period is written off (subject to exceptions).

Not all Trust Deeds are protected, however. Protected Trust Deeds are legally binding agreements between the individual and their creditors, meaning individuals are protected from any legal action from creditors, as well as any interest fees or charges on the debts included.

When setting up your agreement, your IP will send a proposal to your creditors. Creditors then have a period of 5 weeks within which they can raise objections. A Trust Deed becomes protected if that period passes with no objections raised, or when objections raised by creditors are settled.

How much does a Trust Deed cost?

There are various fees associated with the set up and maintenance of a Trust Deed in Scotland, from the cost of your monthly repayment plan, to Trustee fees and and administration costs.

A Trust Deed cannot be set up by anyone other than a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. There are certain debt charities who will cover the cost of an IP, but most debt solution providers will charge a fee for that service.

Carrington Dean is committed to providing free debt advice to customers. We will never charge a fee for debt advice, unless you decide you are ready to go ahead with a managed debt solution. Even then, all fees for Trust Deeds and other debt solutions will be taken from you monthly payment so you can avoid costly upfront charges.

How long does a Trust Deed last?

The length of a Trust Deed can vary based on the debt level involved, the income of the individual, and a variety of other factors, however the typical length of a Trust Deed in Scotland is four years, consisting of 48 monthly payments.

Trust Deeds can be extended in beyond the usual four years in certain circumstances, including a material change in the financial circumstances of the individual in question, but this tends to be the exception rather than the norm.

How we helped Yvonne

“I never thought I’d be in this situation in a million years but knowing that I had somewhere to turn for support and the arrangement has been an absolute life saver. It has made a huge difference to our financial situation."

Yvonne, Wishaw

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Can I keep my home if I'm involved in a Trust Deed?

If you are a homeowner, the level of equity in your property (the difference between the value of your home and how much you owe to your mortgage provider) is determined at the beginning of your Trust Deed. If you have high equity, then this must be released to your Trustee to be paid to your creditors.

An adviser will discuss the different ways to release equity with you, ensuring you have all the correct information before you sign anything that might affect your home.

While each individual Trust Deed is unique, it is highly unlikely that your Trustee will force you to sell your property as part of the arrangement.

What debts can be included in a Trust Deed?

Protected Trust Deeds in Scotland are designed to cover unsecured debts. These include:

  • Credit/store cards
  • Overdrafts
  • Catalogues
  • Payday or bank loans
  • Council Tax arrears
  • Utility bills

The following debts are unsuitable for inclusion in a protected Trust Deed:

  • Secured loans, mortgages, hire purchase and any other loan secured on a property, motor vehicle or home
  • Fines issued by the Court
  • Student loans
  • Debts obtained fraudulently
  • Crisis loans from the DWP’s Social Fund

How does a Trust Deed work?

Step 1: Setting up your arrangement

The first step is to contact an Insolvency Practitioner to discuss your situation. They will then act as your Trustee if you decide to proceed with a Trust Deed.

Your IP will discuss your financial circumstances and work with you to create a realistic budget. This will allow them to calculate how much you can reasonably afford to pay each month towards your debts.

Should you decide to go ahead with a Trust Deed, this payment will replace all your existing unsecured debt repayments.

Step 2: Getting the approval of your creditors

The next step is to sign your Trust Deed. Once you have done this, your Trustee will send a proposal to your creditors, detailing how much you propose to pay and how much the creditor can expect to receive over the period. They will also detail how any assets you may possess will be dealt with.

Your Trust Deed will then be advertised on the Register of Insolvencies. Creditors then have a five-week period to review the proposal and either accept or object.

If there are no objections, or any objections received do not hold the majority of your debts, then your Trust Deed becomes a protected Trust Deed. If no creditors respond, then they will be considered to have agreed to the proposal.

Should sufficient objections be received, then the Trust Deed will fail. In this instance, your Trustee will resign and you will be given further debt advice.

Step 3: Keeping up with monthly payments

Once your Trust Deed is protected, your creditors cannot take any action against you to recover your debts. You will be given the time you need to gradually repay what you owe without fear of legal action.

All you need to do to satisfy the terms of your debt solution is ensure you keep up with your monthly payments for as long as it takes you to reach the end of your Trust Deed term.

Step 4: Being discharged from your agreement

Once all your payments have been made and the repayment term has been completed (generally over four years), you will then be discharged.

You will be sent a certificate confirming this and all the creditors included in the Trust Deed will be required to write off any remaining debt. This means they will no longer be able to pursue you, and you will be free to make a fresh start.

Advantages of a Trust Deed

  • Payments are based on what you can afford to pay according to your circumstances
  • The Trustee will communicate with creditors on your behalf, meaning you won’t have the pressure of unwanted phone calls and letters
  • The Insolvency Practitioner will deal with all of the administration work
  • Once you enter a protected Trust Deed, creditors are completely bound to the terms of the agreement. They cannot take any legal action against you.
  • You can regain control of your finances
  • Whilst there are fees involved in a Trust Deed, these are deducted from your monthly payments or, if appropriate, the sale of an asset. There are no upfront fees.
  • Your liability for any remaining balances of debts included are written off at the end of a Trust Deed, in accordance with Government legislation.

Disadvantages of a Trust Deed

  • If you are a homeowner, any equity in your property must be released to be paid to your creditors. This can be done without selling your home, such as re-mortgaging. If equity cannot be released, your Trust Deed may be extended.
  • Creditors can object to a Trust Deed becoming protected.
  • There are certain professional bodies which prevent members from signing a protected Trust Deed.
  • Obtaining credit in the future may become difficult. Credit reference agencies will measure the level of risk based on your financial history, which might include the Trust Deed.

If you don’t meet the requirements for a protected Trust Deed, or you feel this is not for you; a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) or Sequestration (Bankruptcy in Scotland) might be a better solution.

You can check if a Trust Deed is an affordable solution for you by using our Debt Assistant. It will show you different potential minimum monthly payments for each solution based on your debt level.

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.


What is the Trust Deed register and who can access it?

The Trust Deed register, formally known as the Register of Insolvencies, is a public record managed by the Accountant in Bankruptcy, the Scottish equivalent of the Insolvency Service.

The Register of Insolvencies is a public record of all of the insolvencies in Scotland at a given time, which includes both individuals and businesses. Anyone with an active Trust Deed will find details of their arrangement listed on the register.

Who can access the Trust Deed register?

The Register of Insolvencies is a public document. It’s accessible online and can also be searched, meaning that in theory, members of the public can log on and find out about your Trust Deed, as well as information like:

  • Your name and address
  • Trustee details
  • Start date of the arrangement
  • Discharge date (if you have one)

The good news is that’s while it’s possible for members of the public to discover your Trust Deed, it’s highly unlikely. The Register doesn’t show up on search engines, meaning the only people likely to find out about your arrangement are those who know to search the register, like creditors, credit reference agencies, and future lenders.

Why choose Carrington Dean for Trust Deeds?

We understand that debt can become all-consuming, and if your debt is becoming the elephant in the room, it’s not always easy to know where to turn. Here at Carrington Dean, we will always do our utmost to help you, regardless of your circumstances.

Our friendly advisers strive to give the best advice possible to those in need of financial help. We can offer advice, or help your explore debt relief solutions that can allow you write off debt you can’t afford, freeze interest, and charges and reduce monthly payments.

We are experts in our field and have become well-established as Scotland’s leading Trust Deed company. 99% of our Trust Deeds become protected, and we’ve helped thousands of people break free from creditors threatening legal or enforcement action, and put their debt behind them.

You could write off up to 70% of your unsecured debt today

Frequently Asked Questions

Your Trustee will work with your creditors on your behalf, so once your Trust Deed is protected calls and letters from creditors should stop. This will give you relief of having to deal with them on your own.

If any of your creditors continue to contact you, you can refer them to your Trustee who will handle this for you on your behalf.

All Trust Deeds are legally binding, which means you cannot cancel it once it has been signed. Understanding the terms and conditions of a Trust Deed is an extremely important factor to consider before you enter into one.

We are always on hand to offer advice; it’s free and confidential so please do not hesitate to contact us on 0141 221 2323.

All of our advice is free, and we do not charge you if your Trust Deed proposal is rejected by creditors.

Whilst there are fees involved in a Trust Deed, these are deducted from your monthly payments or, if appropriate, the sale of an asset. There are no up-front fees.

Trust Deeds are only available to Scottish residents and you must have lived in Scotland for at least six months before you apply. If you are based in England or Wales, then debt solutions such as an IVA may be a suitable alternative.

As with all debt solutions, Trust Deeds are specific to an individual’s circumstances. Generally, you need over £5,000 for this debt solution.

However, there are numerous factors considered when choosing the right solution for you, try our Debt Assistant or contact us for more information.

Trust Deeds are suitable if you have a considerable level of unsecured debts. These are debts that are not secured against an asset, such as a credit/store card, bank/payday loan or overdraft.

Debts such as mortgages, secured loans or hire purchase cannot be included in a Trust Deed as they are secured against an asset.

If you fail to keep up with payments, we will write to employers in a bit to recoup payments. You should check with your contract to ensure you are not breaching any terms of your employment.

When you enter into a Trust Deed this will also appear on the Register of Insolvencies in Scotland which is a public record.


If you are a homeowner, the level of equity (the difference between the value of your home and how much you owe to your mortgage provider) is determined in the beginning. If you have high equity, then this must be released to your Trustee to be paid to your creditors.

An advisor will discuss the different ways to release equity with you, ensuring you have all the correct information before you even put your name on the dotted line. Each case is different, but it is highly unlikely that the Trustee will force you to sell your home.

Once all the relevant information has been collected and all factors have been considered, a Trust Deed can be set up immediately.

In this instance, your Trustee would resign, and you would be given further advice. There are other debt solutions available that we may be able to help you with.

No. All Trust Deeds must be arranged and administered by an Insolvency Practitioner.

If you are unhappy with the way your Trustee has dealt with your Trust Deed, it is important that you talk to them.

Your Trustee decides if you have met your obligations and whether you will be discharged from your debts. As such, making them aware of your concerns can help to resolve them as quickly as possible.

All Trustees are members of an approved governing body. If they are unable to resolve your concerns, they will refer you to this body to help.

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