People across Scotland can from today, benefit from an improved Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS).
The Scottish Government, through the Accountant in Bankruptcy, has invested around £250,000 in ensuring that the scheme is accessible to more people. DAS is a debt management option which allows people to pay back what they owe to their creditors over a longer period of time.
Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP, who has responsibility for debt management in Scotland, said:
"The launch of this new, improved Debt Arrangement Scheme today is good news for the people of Scotland.
"I recognise that many people in Scotland are struggling with their debt and this Government is committed to ensuring that a range of options are available to help. Uptake of DAS has been growing in recent years and the changes introduced today will help ensure that thousands more can benefit.
"DAS is a unique product which allows people struggling to pay their debts a longer period to pay back what they owe. It protects people from fear of legal action by their creditors and freezes interest and charges, which are written off at the end of the arrangement. A Debt Payment Programme (DPP) is created allowing people to make a single regular payment to one organisation, removing the burden of dealing with a number of creditor organisations."
Mr Ewing carries forward his responsibility for Accountant in Bankruptcy and debt relief and debt management policy to his new Ministerial role. In his previous position as Minister for Community Safety, he brought about a review of DAS which has led to the changes introduced today.
Changes to the Scheme include:
Chief Executive of Money Advice Scotland (MAS), Yvonne MacDermid, said:
“"I very much welcome the changes that have been made to the Debt Arrangement Scheme from today. DAS is an excellent debt management scheme that will give people across Scotland, who are struggling to cope with their financial commitments, much needed relief. DPPs are tailored to the individual circumstances of the person in need and sets re-payments over a reasonable time period.
“I am confident that there will be significant demand for this new Scheme as this will provide a wider gateway for more people to access it.”