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Considering a DPP?

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i This solution is only available in Scotland.

Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)

What is the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS)?

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a statutory debt management tool overseen by the Scottish Government. It lets you apply for a debt payment programme (DPP) to repay your debts over a reasonable period by making affordable monthly payments.

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is not available if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. In these countries, a debt management plan (DMP) is a similar solution, but it’s important to note that it has different benefits and risks associated with it.

Video: An introduction to DAS

Is a DPP suitable for me?

A DPP will work for you if:

  • You live in Scotland
  • You have money left over once you’ve paid your household bills
  • You owe money to one or more organisation or person

Each month you make an affordable payment to your DPP. This payment is then shared between the different creditors that you owe money to. A percentage of your monthly payment is deducted to cover the running costs. As your money advisor and payments distributor we will retain 20% and 2% is sent to the Accountant in Bankruptcy who acts as the DAS administrator and oversees the Scheme on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Your DPP can be for any amount of money as long as you repay what you owe in a reasonable amount of time. If you're not able to repay in a reasonable amount of time there may be other debt solutions open to you, like sequestration, the Scottish term for bankruptcy.

Free multilingual debt guide

We've put together a free, downloadable guide to help you deal with your money worries

Our guide to dealing with debt in Scotland covers debt collection processes, where to get help, budgeting and what to expect from a debt advice session. It’s available to download in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish. Find out more.

Setting up a DPP 

Your DPP is set up and managed by a continuing money advisor. All money advisors must be fully trained and approved under the Scheme.

If a DPP is the best option for you a proposal is put forward to your creditors and they have 21 days to decide whether or not they’re happy with this. Even if your creditors don’t agree to this proposal your DPP could still be approved by the DAS Administrator, if they think it’s fair and reasonable to do so.

If your DPP is approved you make one monthly payment to a payments distributor and they share this money between your creditors.

If we recommend a DPP as your best course of action, we can set this up for you. All the costs of your DPP are covered by your creditors.

What is the DAS register?

When you set up a DPP your details will be put onto the DAS register. This is an online register that anyone can access. It has information about everyone who’s in the process of setting up, or is on, a DPP. This is so that your creditors know you're on a DPP, and can't take court enforcement action against you.

Considering a DPP?

mum pushing son on swing

Considering a DPP?

Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Are interest and charges stopped on a DPP?

From the date you set up a DPP your creditors have to:

  • Freeze any interest or charges being applied to your debts
  • Stop taking any further court or enforcement action
  • Stop sending you letters asking for payments

If your DPP is not approved or you stop paying your DPP, your creditors can apply interest and charges on your debts and take court enforcement action again.

Changes to your situation while on a DPP

If your situation changes while you’re on a DPP you can apply for your payment to be varied. Your creditors and the DAS Administrator will consider the impact of the change (for example, if you reduce your payment how long will it take for the debts to be repaid?) and decide whether to approve it.

If you have an emergency or crisis where you need to pay for an unexpected cost, such as a car breakdown, you can request a short-term break of one month. Your money advisor can approve this and will let your creditors know. You can request up to two of these in a 12-month period. Your payment will not change but your DPP term will be extended to cover the break.

If you have a short term ‘income shock’ while you’re on a DPP, and as long as your disposable income has been reduced by 50% or more, you can apply for a payment holiday. Income shocks can be the result of a number of things, including:

  • Being made unemployed or changing jobs
  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Not being able to work because of illness
  • Divorce or separation, including from a co-habiting partner
  • A reduction in tax credits or benefits payments

A payment holiday will mean that you can have up to a six month break from making payments towards your DPP. However, the payment holiday term will be added to your DPP. 

How much does a DPP cost?

When you enter into a DPP with us, the costs are covered by all the creditors in the DPP. You don't make any additional payments.

When a DPP is approved, 22% of your payments will be deducted to cover the running costs of the programme. This percentage is set in law.  Your creditors will write off this amount from the debt owed. There are no other fees.

When does a DPP end?

A DPP ends when:

  • You’ve made all the payments you agreed
  • The debt is cleared with a lump sum payment, or
  • All the creditors included in your original DPP agree to complete it before it was due to end

When one of these things happens, you’re no longer liable for any payment towards the debts, and you’ll be debt free.

Can I get DAS help from you?

If you’d like to find if the debt payment programme under the Debt Arrangement Scheme is the right option for you then you can find out with our online debt advice tool.

Alternatively you can call us (free from all landlines and mobiles). If it’s the best solution for your situation we’ll book you a telephone appointment with one of our specially-trained Scottish debt advisors.