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THE DEBT ARRANGEMENT SCHEME (DAS)











 

    What is the DAS?
    The Debt Arrangement Scheme provides a mechanism for debtors to repay mutiple debts (two or more debts) in Scotland in a co-ordinated and structured manner. 

Once a repayment plan (a 'debt payment programme' or 'DPP') is approved by the Debt Administrator, all creditors to the scheme cannot do diligence to enforce payment of debts being repaid via the scheme.  In other words they cannot serve a charge for payment following a decree or enforce a payment decree by way of a bank arrestment, earnings arrestment, attachment, exceptional attachment order, inhibition, or other such diligence: see section 4, Debt Arrangement & Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002).

Creditors can still raise a payment action, action for recovery of heritable possession or action for repossession of security subjects (mortgage repossession). 

Why use the DAS?   
If you have several consumer debts, for example, and are in work it may be useful to co-orindate the repayment of your debts in a manageable way with the free help of an accredited money advisor.  However if you have a very low income then DAS may not be an option in practical terms i.e. you don't have enough money to pay into the scheme. 

That said, DAS could still be useful if you are being pursued for council tax or water/sewerage charges, because the time to pay scheme under the Debtors (Scotland) Act 1987 does not extend to council tax debt.  However, you could repay council tax arrears (where you have at least two debts) via a DPP and therefore obtain the equivalent of 'time to pay' under the DAS. 

Unfortunately, the DAS does not have any power to freeze interest payments, unlike the Adminstration Order Scheme in England & Wales, so where a debtor has consumer debts with high rates of interest (eg. over 20% APR) if possible the best solution may be to see whether you can pay off such credit with a loan at a much lower rate of interest.  You can contact an Independent Financial Advisor to see if this is possible (make sure you get a free consultation).

How can I apply?
The DAS is currently administered by the Accountant in Bankruptcy, who is the current Debt Adminstrator.  An application to the DAS must be made through an accredited money advisor.  You can obtain details of where to find an advisor, as well as more details of the DAS, on the official DAS website - www.moneyscotland.gov.uk


Statutory law on the DAS