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).
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.
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
on the DAS