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Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

For clients in Scotland, DAS is debt remedy operated by the Scottish government that allows you to repay your unsecured debts through a Debt Payment Programme (DPP). This allows you to pay off your debts over an extended period of time while giving you protection from your creditors taking action against you to recover the debts listed in the DPP. The DPP can last for any reasonable length of time and, if approved, will freeze all interest, fees and charges on the debts included, resulting in them being written off if you fully complete the DPP.

Atlantic charges no fees for the initial regional adviser meeting and we would refer you to our preferred DAS approved money adviser, who will provide additional debt advice and apply for a DPP on your behalf. Thomson Cooper is our preferred DAS approved money adviser.

The number of Scottish residents accessing DAS continues to grow at an unprecedented rate - a further rise of 40% in 2012-13 - making an overall ten-fold increase over the last six years. DAS helped debtors to re-pay a total of £23.2m in 2012-13, an amount which compares very favourably with the £19 million repaid through Protected Trust Deeds (PTDs) in the same period (source AIB - July 2013). DAS remains subject to positive change with the potential for introducing payment breaks, based upon changes in circumstances, and write off debt after a number of years contributions (possibly 12 years) and/or a percentage of the debt has been cleared (possibly 70%).

Your creditors will receive a minimum of 90% of the debt owed to them, if you fully complete the DPP under DAS. Your credit file will show that 100% has been paid off your debts and that they will be satisfied in full. It is probably that the duration of the DPP will exceed 6 years and, therefore, any credit agreements in the DPP will have been deleted from your credit file 6 years after your details appear on the DAS register.

There are 5 parties involved in DAS:

  1. you: someone who has unsecured personal debts and has agreed to a Debt Repayment Programme (DPP) with a DAS approved money adviser
  2. DAS approved money adviser: who will provide additional debt advice and apply for a DPP on your behalf
  3. creditor: someone who you owe money to and has agreed or is obliged to accept payments under a DPP
  4. DAS administrator: who is responsible for the approval of a DPP, the approval of money advisers and payments distributors and maintaining the DAS register which contains details of DPPs
  5. payments distributor: who distribute the money gathered to creditors in line with the agreed DPP

Protection against court action

If your creditors are writing to you to say that they intend to take court action against you to recover the debts and you are seriously thinking about applying for a DPP under DAS then you, or an approved money adviser, can write to the DAS Administrator to intimate their intention. Atlantic work with several approved money advisers based in Scotland. Our DAS approved money adviser can submit the 'intimation' via the Debt Arrangement Scheme Hub (DASH). The DAS Administrator will then register this intimation on the DAS Register.

Once on the DAS Register then you are protected for a period of six weeks against any creditor action. This period gives the approved DAS money adviser to submit your DPP proposal. Note that you can only submit an intimation to the DAS Administrator once in every 12 months.

Approving a DPP

The DAS Administrator must take into account all of the following:

  • the total amount of unsecured debt
  • the total period of time for the proposed payment plan
  • the method and frequency of the regular payments
  • the extent to which the creditors have consented
  • any other views from creditors
  • comments made by your DAS approved money adviser
  • any previous DPP applications
  • any other factor which the DAS Administrator considers appropriate

Important points to consider before commencing a Debt Payment Programme:

  • Your information will appear on the DAS register, which is an online public register which holds information about those intending to apply for, are applying for, and those who already have a Debt Payment Programme (DPP) under DAS. Anyone can access the register free of charge.
  • Creditors and credit reference agencies check the DAS register on a regular basis and may update your credit file to reflect this information
  • It is important that you read the Debt Advice and Information Pack produced by the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AIB)