Scotland to revamp Debt Arrangement Scheme
The Scottish Government is planning to expand its Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) including bringing in six-month payment holidays to enhance the debt management solution.
The Scottish Minister for community safety Fergus Ewing told the third annual Credit Scotland conference that the Government was planning on making improvements to DAS.
The regime, which came into effect in 2008 and helps clients pay off debts in a managed way,will be extended to include new initiatives.
Option of 6 month DAS payment holiday proposed
One of the new features, which Ewing believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, would allow those who have experienced a short-term shock such as a job loss or bereavement to take a six-month payment holiday.
He stressed the criteria would be strict, notably a 50 per cent drop in income. Ewing also said DAS would be extended beyond money advisers to individual IPs and those with accreditation.
“The Government has a duty to provide vehicles to help those in debt,” he told the event. “DAS has worked but we needed to improve the system. Following feedback, we have agreed to make changes to simplify and streamline the process.”
James Falla, senior debt expert at Beat My Debt welcomed the news. “These changes to the DAS will be extremely welcome news for people struggling with debt in Scotland. At a time when employment is growing more and more uncertain, the opportunity to take a payment hiliday will be a very important enhancement to the scheme” he said.