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Debt Arrangement Scheme (Scotland)

The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a debt-payment arrangement system set up by the Scottish Government. It is designed to help you manage your debt repayments and can also provide protection from creditors making you bankrupt or enforcing your debts by diligence.

Under a DAS debt-payment programme, you will have to make a single regular monthly payment. This is made to an approved payment distributor who sends the money to your creditors. If you keep to the agreed payments, your creditors cannot carry out enforcement action against you.  

Interest and debt charges (such as fees, penalties or other charges) are suspended from the date you apply for a debt-payment programme. They are written off when you have completed your debt-payment programme. Read more about DAS.

Debt collection agency

Debt collection agencies pursue debts on behalf of other creditors, or 'buy' the debts from them. They can sometimes use intimidating practices, such as repeated phone calls and letters deliberately worded to make the debt sound like an emergency.

Debt collection agencies do not have any special legal powers. They are not bailiffs and therefore they cannot take any of your belongings away or force their way into your property.

Debt relief order (England & Wales)

A debt relief order (DRO) is a new way of dealing with debts that you cannot pay. A DRO may be able to help you if you do not own your home, have few assets and little available income to pay your creditors. It is a cheaper option than bankruptcy. If your DRO application is successful, then none of the creditors included can take action to recover your debts for 12 months. The debts included are then written off after the 12 months are up. Read more about debt relief orders

Diligence (Scotland)

A creditor can use diligence to enforce a debt against you through the sheriff court. It can take a number of forms, such as taking money from your bank account or wages (arrestments), appointing sheriff court officers to remove goods from within or outwith your home (attachments) and placing an 'inhibition' on your property to prevent you from selling it without their consent. Read more about enforcing a debt by diligence.