Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)
How does it work?
This is a scheme introduced by the Scottish Government to give those with more than two debts help managing their debts, without having to go through the courts. Under a DAS debt-payment programme you make a single regular payment to an approved payments distributor to pay off your debts over a period of time. The programme can be for any amount of money or for any reasonable length of time. If you keep to the agreed payments, your creditors cannot carry out enforcement action against you.
DAS also freezes interest, fees and charges on your debt, from the date your DAS approved payment plan is approved.
The arrangements must be made through a DAS approved money adviser. You cannot apply directly. Before making an application for a DAS debt payment programme, the approved money adviser has to check your income, outgoings, priority and non-priority debts.
The money adviser will then send each creditor a copy of your personal budget which shows your financial position and negotiate with each creditor.
If creditors all agree or are deemed to have agreed (because they do not respond) the debt payment programme under DAS is agreed automatically.
Once a debt-payment programme is in place your approved money adviser will review its operation every six months.
Advantages:DAS allows you to pay back what you owe, free from pressure of your creditors and threat of enforcement (diligence) or bankruptcy. If you keep to the agreed payments, you are protected from further action by the people you owe money to and interest, fees and charges on your debt are frozen, from the date of approval of a debt payment programme. At the end of the agreed repayment time, you should be able to wipe the slate clean and start again.
Disadvantages:DAS is often free for people paying debts under an approved debt payment programme. However, some money advisers may charge a fee for their service. Check beforehand.
Your home may not be protected.