Trust Deed – Scotland

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A Trust Deed is a debt solution in Scotland that consolidates unaffordable debt repayments into one single monthly payment and can write off up to 70% of unsecured debts. At Carrington Dean, we take pride in having guided over 45,000 individuals in Scotland out of debt. Discover the positive experiences of those we’ve assisted by exploring our latest reviews.


What is a Trust Deed in Scotland?

What is a Trust Deed in Scotland?,

A Trust Deed is a debt solution in Scotland that can reduce your unaffordable debt repayments to a single monthly payment and write off up to 70% of unsecured debts.

Once your creditors (the individuals or businesses you owe money to) agree to your Trust Deed, it becomes a Protected Trust Deed and is recognised as a formal, legally binding agreement.

Trust Deeds are only available to Scottish residents and will generally last for four years, although they can take longer to complete if your circumstances change during this time.

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

What is the purpose of a Trust Deed?

What is the purpose of a Trust Deed?,

The main purpose of a Trust Deed is to allow people struggling with debt to gradually repay what they owe through a series of affordable monthly payments.

Trust Deeds are best suited for people who are in debt but have access to a regular income that can be put towards their outstanding balance.

Put simply, 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

Remember, Trust Deeds are only available to Scottish Residents.

If you are based in England or Wales, you may be better suited to another debt solution, such as an IVA, a Debt Management Plan, or a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).

How do you set up a Trust Deed?

How do you set up a Trust Deed?,

A Trust Deed can only be set up and managed by a licensed Insolvency Practitioner (IP), who is a debt professional authorised to act as a Trustee for your arrangement.

Your Insolvency Practitioner will conduct a review of your income and expenses and 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 and stick to the terms outlined in your repayment proposal, your Trust Deed will be approved.

Your IP will manage the Trust Deed on your behalf. This involves handling your monthly payments and distributing those payments among your creditors.

Are you considering a Trust Deed?

Use our easy debt solution finder to find the best solution for your circumstances. 

We have helped over 35,000 people in the Scotland with their debt


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

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

In a 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 five weeks within which they can raise objections.

As long as no objections are raised within this time or objections are settled before this deadline, the Trust Deed will become protected.

How much does a Trust Deed cost?

How much does a Trust Deed cost?,

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

A Trust Deed cannot be set up by anyone other than a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. Certain debt charities will cover the cost of an IP, but most debt solution providers charge a fee for this service and this is usually calculated at a rate of 20% of your monthly repayments.

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 your monthly payments so you can avoid costly upfront charges.

How long does a Trust Deed last?

How long does a Trust Deed last?,

The typical length of a Trust Deed in Scotland is four years (48 monthly payments), but this can vary based on a variety of factors, including the individual’s income and debt level.

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

One of the main contributing factors in the length of a Trust Deed is your home ownership status. Many people worry that their house will be automatically sold when they enter a Trust Deed but this isn’t necessarily true and the outcome is largely dependent on the level of equity available in the property.

Here’s an example of how a Trust Deed can help

Let's say you owe...

Bank Loans


Short Term Loans


Phone Bills


Credit Cards


Store Cards


Payday Loan




Total amount owed:


Customer monthly repayments before and after entering a Trust Deed

Repayments reduced by 70%

Monthly payments are based on individual financial circumstances

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

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 worked out at the beginning of your Trust Deed.

If you have a significant amount of equity, it must be released to your Trustee to allow it to be paid to your creditors.

An adviser will discuss the different ways to release equity with you to ensure you have all the correct information before you sign off on anything that might affect your home or living situation.

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

What debts can be included in a Trust Deed?

What debts can be included in a Trust Deed?,

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

The following debts can’t be included in a Protected Trust Deed:

  • Secured loans, mortgages, Hire Purchase (HP) agreements and any other loan secured on a property, motor vehicle or home
  • Court fines
  • Student loans
  • Debts obtained fraudulently
  • Crisis loans from the DWP’s Social Fund

How does a Trust Deed work?

How does a Trust Deed work?,

Step 1: Setting up your arrangement

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

Your IP will review your debts and work with you to create a realistic budget that you should have no problem sticking to.

This will allow them to calculate how much you can reasonably afford to pay each month towards your debts without missing payments or defaulting.

Should you decide to go ahead with a Trust Deed, this single monthly 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 throughout the Trust Deed period.

They will also detail how any assets you own will be dealt with.

Your Trust Deed will then be advertised on the Register of Insolvencies and all your creditors will be given a five-week deadline to review the proposal before deciding whether to accept or object to the proposed terms.

If there are no objections or any objections received don’t hold the majority of your debts, your Trust Deed will become a protected Trust Deed.

If none of your creditors respond, your Trustee will assume they have no objections and your Trust Deed will automatically be approved.

Should sufficient objections be received, the Trust Deed will fail. In this instance, your Trustee will resign and you will be given further advice to help you deal with your debts.

Step 3: Keeping up with monthly payments

Once your Trust Deed is protected, your creditors will be prohibited from taking any further action against you to recover your debts.

This will give you the time and peace of mind you need to gradually repay what you owe without the constant fear of legal action looming over you.

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 (typically over four years), you will be discharged.

You will be sent a certificate confirming the completion of your Trust Deed and all the creditors included will be required to write off any remaining debts.

This means they will no longer be able to pursue you for the money owed, and you will be free to make a fresh start with your finances.

Advantages of a Trust Deed – Scotland

  • It can help prevent bankruptcy by consolidating debts
  • There are no upfront fees involved
  • You can repay debts with one, affordable, monthly repayment
  • It establishes a clear repayment timeline, typically over four years
  • It stops the accrual of additional interest and charges on your debts
  • It offers protection from legal action by creditors
  • Any remaining unsecured debt included is written off upon successful completion
  • It shouldn’t have an impact on your current or future employment

Disadvantages of a Trust Deed – Scotland

  • It can negatively affect your credit rating for six years
  • It may require the release of home equity to pay your creditors
  • It’s only applicable to residents of Scotland
  • Your creditors may not accept the Trust Deed proposal
  • It may limit your financial freedom during the arrangement
  • There is a risk of bankruptcy if your arrangement fails
  • Remortgaging may attract higher interest rates and, if no remortgage is available, your arrangement can be extended for 12 months
  • Only unsecured debts included will be written off

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

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 which is the Scottish equivalent of the Insolvency Service.

The Register of Insolvencies is a public record of all insolvencies in Scotland at a given time, including both individuals and businesses.

Anyone with an active Trust Deed will find details of their arrangement listed on the register, where they will remain for at least five years.

Because most Trust Deeds last four years, this means that your arrangement is likely to remain on the register for another year after you have been discharged.

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
  • Details of your Trustee 
  • The start date of your arrangement
  • Your discharge date (if you have one)

The good news is that while members of the public can discover your Trust Deed, it’s highly unlikely.

The only people likely to find out about your arrangement are those who not only know how to search the register but have a reason to do so, such as creditors, credit reference agencies, and future lenders.

Can a Trust Deed affect my credit rating?

Can a Trust Deed affect my credit rating,

If you choose to enter a Trust Deed, it’s important to be aware that your credit rating will be adversely affected for six years from the date it’s approved.

Having a poor credit rating can make borrowing money more challenging and you’ll likely struggle to get a mortgage or loan which can affect any major life plans you have.

However, it’s important to be aware that your credit rating will have already been affected by the missed debt repayments or defaults that led to you requiring a Trust Deed in the first place.

Furthermore, almost every debt solution, including a Debt Payment Programme, a Debt Relief Order, and an Administration Order, will negatively affect your credit rating.

You can check your credit score using companies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

How can I improve my credit rating after a Trust Deed?,

Having a Trust Deed will temporarily affect your credit rating, but there are various steps you can take to improve your credit history as soon as you’ve made your final payment:

Register to vote

If you haven’t already, you must ensure you’re registered to vote and the information contained on your credit record is correct and up to date.

Credit reference agencies use the electoral register to ensure your name and address match the information you have provided. If they’re able to confirm these details, this can rule out fraud and your credit rating will immediately improve.

Make payments as they’re due

If you have any other credit agreements, such as a mortgage or a phone contract, you must ensure you make your payments in full and on time.

Whether your most recent payment has gone through late or you can’t afford your next monthly payment, credit reference agencies will list the mistake on your credit file and your credit score will decrease as a result.

Automate your bills

If you struggle to pay your bills on time, setting up direct debits can ensure the money comes out of your bank account at the same time each month whether you remember or not.

Having a history of paying your bills on time can significantly increase your credit score and demonstrate to your creditors that you’re managing your finances responsibly after a Trust Deed.

Why choose Carrington Dean for Trust Deeds?

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 you explore debt relief solutions that can allow you to write off debt you can’t afford, freeze interest and charges and reduce your 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 so they can put their debt behind them and move on with their lives.


  • Trust Deeds are exclusive to Scottish residents
  • An advantage of a Trust Deed is that it can consolidate your unaffordable debts into a single monthly payment
  • Most Trust Deeds last four years but can be extended
  • Trust Deeds can only be set up and managed by a licensed IP
  • Only unsecured debts can be included in a Trust Deed

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.