As Debt Arrangement Scheme is a formal agreement, you cannot set one up on your own. You need an approved money advisor to help you.
The best way to implement a DAS is to first speak to Beat My Debt who will look at your circumstances and help you decide which debt solution is right for you. If you have decided that a DAS is for you, we will introduce you to a money advisor in Scotland.
If you are suitable for DAS, your money adviser will help you to apply for a DAS debt payment programme (DPP).
The Parties involved in a Debt Arrangement Scheme
Firstly you need to be aware of the five parties involved with DAS:
- The debtor: This is you – the individual who has personal debts and has agreed to a DPP with a DAS approved money adviser.
- The DAS approved money adviser: the approved adviser provides debt management advice to you, the debtor. DAS can only be accessed through a DAS approved money adviser.
- The creditor: someone who you owe money to on an unsecured basis and has agreed or is obliged to accept payments under a DPP.
- The DAS administrator: The Accountant in Bankruptcy is the DAS administrator although it is important to understand that DAS is NOT bankruptcy. The administrator has responsibility for maintaining the DAS register which contains details of DPPs; the approval of money advisers; the approval of payments distributors and the approval of DPP applications.
- The payments distributor: an approved service provider who is responsible for the distribution of funds paid through the DPP to creditors.
Step 1. Assessment of your financial situation
Your Money Advisor will first assess your financial situation and ask you to provide proof of your financial circumstances. If you are suitable for DAS the money advisor will apply on your behalf.
Depending on your individual circumstances your Money Advisor may ask you to tell the DAS Administrator (the Accountant in Bankruptcy) that you intend to apply for a DAS Debt Payment Programme (DPP).
This will give you protection against further legal action from your creditors for an interim period of up to 6 weeks immediately prior to the submission of your DPP application.
You are only allowed to submit one intimation of intention to apply for a DPP in any 12 month period.
Step 2. Payment proposal agreed by your creditors
The details of your DAS payment plan proposal will be sent to all of the creditors that you want to include in the Debt Payment Programme (DPP). Each creditor will be given the opportunity to agree or disagree to the DPP.
The creditors have 21 days to reply. They are asked to say if they consent to the offer. If they do not reply within 21 days, they will be ‘deemed’ to have consented by the DAS administrator. This means that your debt payment plan can go ahead.
Creditors will then be bound by this DPP as long as you stick to the agreement.
If there are any objections the DAS Administrator (AIB) can still approve the debt payment programme if it is fair and reasonable to do so.
Step 3. Start making regular payments
If your DAS is approved you will make a single regular payment to a chosen payments distributor who will then distribute the funds to your creditors.
As long as you continue to make your agreed payments you will be protected by the DAS regulations meaning –
- no creditor will be able to take legal action against you to enforce payment of debts or make you bankrupt; and
- all interest, fees and charges on the debts in your DPP will be frozen from the date of approval and waived on the completion of the DPP;
Your details will also be displayed on a public register called the DAS Register.
What if your Circumstances change?
In the event that your circumstances change during the term of the Debt Payment Programme (DPP) you will have the opportunity to apply for its conditions to be altered. This is known as a variation.
If you believe that terms of your DPP should be varied you must consult your money adviser who will be responsible for submitting a variation application. Creditors may also apply for your DPP to be varied but are required to make reasonable efforts to agree the variation proposal with your money adviser in advance of submitting the variation application.
If all of your creditors agree to the variation proposal then it will be approved, however, if they do not agree, the proposal to vary the DPP will be determined by the DAS Administrator.
Note: If you do not make your agreed payments you risk your DAS being revoked and you will no longer have the protection of the DAS regulations.
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