The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is only available in Scotland

DAS is a government run product which allows you to repay the money you owe to your creditors over a period of time through a Debt Payment Programme (DPP). An approved DPP gives you protection from your creditors and stops them taking action against you to recover the money you owe.

You make regular affordable payments into the DPP and that money is paid out to your creditors.

Benefits

  • When the DPP is approved by your creditors, the interest, fees and charges are frozen from when your creditors were first notified of the application for a DPP.
  • Your creditors are unable to pursue you for the money you owe.
  • Your home will not affected by the DPP.
  • If you require the use of your car to go to work and it is worth less than £3,000, it will not be affected by the DPP.
  • If your circumstances change, the DPP is flexible and the amount you pay can be amended.
  • When the DPP is successfully completed, your creditors write off in full the debts that were owed.

Things you need to know

  • To be eligible:
    • You have to live in Scotland;
    • You are required to have sought the advice of a DAS Approved Money Adviser;
    • You must have one or more debts; and
    • You need a reasonable level of disposable income after meeting the costs of your basic living expenses.
  • Your creditors receive a minimum of 90% of the debts owed to them.
  • The DPP will appear on your credit file and you may find it difficult to obtain credit in the future.
  • You are unable to apply for a DPP if you are already subject to the terms of a Trust Deed or been declared. bankrupt, and also if you are paying a debt under a conjoined arrestment order.
  • Couples may apply for a joint DPP.
  • A Business DAS product exists for unincorporated businesses, such as partnerships or trusts. However the maximum repayment period is 5 years.

For more information on the Debt Arrangement Scheme, read our questions and answers.

Questions & Answers

What is DAS?

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a government run programme which lets you repay your debts over a longer period of time and gives you protection from your creditors to stop them taking action against you to recover the money you owe them.

You make one affordable payment based on an analysis of your income and expenditure and that payment is distributed to your creditors.

How do I start a DPP?

You have to contact a DAS Approved Money Adviser who will discuss your financial circumstances with you and the options available, before the decision is made to proceed with the DAS.  The DAS Approved Money Adviser can administer the application for a DPP on your behalf.

How long does the DPP last?

The length of the DPP depends on the total amount owed to your creditors and size of the regular payment to the DPP that you can afford. For example if you have debts which total £12,000 and can pay £100 a month, the DPP will last for approximately 10 years.

Are debts due to all my creditors written off?

Not all types of debts are written off. Debts that are not automatically written off include:

  • Secured loans, such as a mortgage on a property, and other secured debts;
  • Court fines;
  • Maintenance payments and child support payments, including any lump sum orders and costs that have arisen from family proceedings;
  • Student loans; and
  • Some benefit and tax credits overpayments.

The types of unsecured debts that are written off include:

  • Credit cards;
  • Loans;
  • Overdrafts;
  • Store cards; and
  • Council tax

What happens to my belongings?

Your belongings will be referred to as your assets.  Certain assets are excluded from the DPP, these include:

  • Your home;
  • A motor home, if you live in it;
  • Tools required to carry out a trade
  • General household items

Upon approval of the DPP, the DAS Administrator may impose a condition that an asset is sold, but not an asset which is excluded.

You may choose to sell an asset, to pay a lump sum amount into the DPP.

How much will a DPP cost?

Many Money Advisers offer free advice, however some do charge a fee.  We can recommend a DAS Approved Money Adviser to you or alternatively you can locate one at the DAS Administrator’s website by following this link http://www.dasscotland.gov.uk/help-centre/money-adviser-search

 Your income and expenditure is assessed and a regular payment that you can afford to make to the DPP is agreed.  You can make the payment weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly.

Your regular payment is made to a Payment Distributor who deducts their own fee of up to 8% of the payment and a fee of 2% of the payment for the DAS Administrator. After fees, the balance is paid to your creditors.

You can use the services of a Continuing Money Adviser, who will continue to assist you over the duration of the DPP.  It is likely you will have to pay the Continuing Money Adviser a fee over and above your regular payment to the DPP.

Who will know that I have a Debt Payment Programme?

People could become aware of your DPP in the following ways:

  • Your details will appear on the DAS Register which can be viewed online; and
  • Credit referencing agencies will be aware of your DPP, which could make getting credit difficult in the future.

Am I eligible for DAS?

To be eligible for DAS you must:

  • Have one or more debts
  • Be resident in Scotland
  • Have sought advice from a DAS approved money adviser
  • Have a reasonable level of disposable income after your expenditure has been analysed

How does DAS work?

If you are recommended DAS as a solution to your financial problems, you will be asked to commit to a Debt Payment Programme (DPP). The length of the DPP and your monthly payments will depend on how much you owe and how much you can afford to pay. Your payments will be paid to a payment distributor who will ensure your creditors receive regular payments towards the debts they are owed. When a DPP is approved, all interest, fees and charges are frozen and creditors will not be able to take any action against you to recover the money you owe.

How much will DAS cost me?

The money adviser who recommends DAS to you may not charge for their advice however if you use the services of a Continuing Money Adviser it is likely you will have to pay them a fee over and above your monthly payment to the Debt Payment Programme (DPP).  From the monthly payments to the DPP that you make, a maximum of 10% of each payment will be deducted to cover fees, these being a 2% fee paid to the DAS Administrator (the Accountant in Bankruptcy) and up to 8% paid to the payment distributor.

Will all my debts be included in DAS?

Your Debt Payment Programme (DPP) will only include your unsecured debts such as unsecured loans, credit cards, store cards, rent arrears and overdrafts. Your mortgage or any other secured loans you have will not be included.

Who will know that I have a Debt Payment Programme?

People could become aware of your DPP in the following ways:

  • Your details will appear on the DAS Register which can be viewed online; and
  • Credit referencing agencies will be aware of your DPP, which could make getting credit difficult in the future.

What are the criteria for a joint DPP?

Couples could apply for a joint DPP there is at least one debt where you are jointly liable.  The relationship has to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Husband and wife or living together as husband and wife; or
  • Civil partners; or
  • Living together in a relationship with the characteristics of a husband and wife relationship, except that they are of the same sex.

Can I take a break from my payments if my circumstances change?

In certain circumstances if your disposable income has reduced by 50% or more, you will be allowed to apply for a payment break for up to 6 months, with the period of the DPP being extended for an equal period.

These circumstances include:

  • a period of unemployment or a change in employment;
  • a period of leave from employment for maternity, paternity, adoption or to care for a dependent;
  • a period of illness;
  • divorce, dissolution of civil partnership or separation from a person; and
  • death of a person with whom you shared care (financial responsibilities or otherwise)

Can I apply for a DPP if recently signed a Trust Deed which did not become protected?

Yes, you can.

What if my DAS application is rejected?

If the DAS Administrator rejects a DPP, your creditors and your money adviser will be informed and you may have to consider another form of debt solution.

What happens when my DAS is completed?

A DPP is completed when:

  • you have made all agreed payments to the DPP; or
  • you make a lump sum payment equivalent to the sum of the outstanding regular payments; or
  • all your creditors agree in writing to complete the DPP prior to the scheduled end date.

On completion of the DPP you are no longer liable for debts included in the DPP or any ongoing interest and charges relating to those debts which would have normally been charged by the creditors.

Your details will be removed from the DAS register and your creditors will be informed that the money you owed them has been repaid.

How do I contact you?

Take the first step to turning your debt around. By completing our online enquiry form, we will advise whether we can help you with a debt solution and arrange a time to contact you to talk through the options.