In dealing with debt, people find themselves in one of two groups - those who need debt management or those who need debt relief.
Debt management is appropriate for those who can pay their debt - but need a bit more time and perhaps protection from creditors as well. In most plans the creditor may agree to waive charges or freeze interest, but isn't forced to do so unless specified. Major benefits include continued control of their assets including their home, car etc. Additionally, it is unlikely to affect a credit rating as greatly as a debt relief product. Under DAS, the process is formalised and all interest, fees and charges on the debt included will be frozen from the date the DAS debt payment plan is approved.
Debt relief is appropriate for those who can't maintain their debts. These product will effectively stop diligence and write off debts at the conclusion of the programme. However, major drawbacks include the debtor's ability to control their own key assets and could potentially result in the sale of their home, car, life insurance or any valuable asset for the benefit of their creditors. Furthermore, their credit rating is severely affected.
Debt management is always the better option, where possible and debt relief is a last resort with the most serious consequences.
An individual may be able to find their own way out of a debt problem, but they should still get proper money advice. Self-help is likely to work best for people with a handful of debts who can reach a voluntary agreement with their creditors.
This is an agreement between a debtor and their creditors to pay off debts over an extended period. A debtor should be aware of two things when entering into a debt payment programme (DPP)
DAS is a government-run debt management tool which allows people to repay their debts through a DPP.
DAS is not the only way of dealing with debt problems. For some, a voluntary trust deed might be the answer to serious debt problems.
Bankruptcy is a formal method of dealing with debts if other options have failed or are inappropriate. Bankruptcy is a last resort. Going bankrupt is a very serious step as a debtor could lose their home and other valuable assets. No one should make an application for bankruptcy without seeking advice.