What is DAS?
If you live in Scotland and are struggling to repay your unsecured debts then you may consider entering into a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). 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.
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:
- You: someone who has unsecured personal debts and has agreed to a Debt Repayment Programme (DPP) with a DAS approved money adviser
- DAS approved money adviser: who will provide additional debt advice and apply for a DPP on your behalf
- Creditor: someone who you owe money to and has agreed or is obliged to accept payments under a DPP
- 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
- Payments distributor: who distribute the money gathered to creditors in line with the agreed DPP