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Alternatives to Trust Deeds

Trust Deed | Guide

A Trust Deed isn’t the only debt solution that’s available to Scottish residents – there may be others that are better suited to your circumstances. Speak to a debt advisor who will be able to advise you on which is the most suitable solution for your situation.

Sequestration

Sequestration may be an option if you realistically can’t afford to repay your unsecured debts in a reasonable amount of time. You’ll only have to make payments if you can afford to – if you can, these payments may continue for up to four years. They’ll take into account all of your essential living costs, including things like your rent, mortgage, utility bills, travel costs and food costs. If you can’t afford to make payments, you won’t have to.

You’ll usually be discharged from sequestration after 12 months and whatever you can’t afford to repay will be written off.

Sequestration does have consequences. Some of your assets may be sold to pay for your debts, which can include your home if you’re a homeowner. As with any default that is registered on your credit report, it will stay there for six years. This means that your credit rating will be affected during that time, and potentially beyond this period. You may also be asked if you have ever been sequestrated when you make applications for credit in the future. Details of your sequestration will be also be recorded on the Register of Insolvencies until two years after your Trustee is discharged.

Read our complete guide to Sequestration here.

Minimal Asset Process

The Minimal Asset Process (MAP) is a simplified, lower cost form of bankruptcy for Scottish residents. It has strict criteria, which includes having no income left to pay off your debts after paying for all of your essential living costs and having few valuable assets to help repay your debts too.

Payments on your debts will be suspended for the time your MAP runs for. When it is successfully completed, and any outstanding included unsecured debts will be written off. It is a shorter process than sequestration – you could be discharged in as little as six months.

As MAP is a form of bankruptcy, it does have consequences, which include having an impact on your credit rating for six years after it begins, and it may continue to have an impact beyond this period. Also, details of your bankruptcy will appear on the publically available Register of Insolvencies until two years after it has ended.

Read our complete guide to MAP here.

Debt Arrangement Scheme

If you live in Scotland and you’re struggling to meet your current monthly unsecured debt repayments, but could afford a lower payment every month, the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) may be able to help.

DAS allows you to continue making payments towards your debts, whilst making sure that you have money left over to cover your essential living costs. This includes things like your rent, mortgage, food costs, travel costs and utilities.

You’ll agree a DAS Payment Programme (DPP) with your lenders, which will outline how much you will pay every month. This single, reduced payment will be affordable and sustainable for you. As long as you adhere to the DPP, charges and interest on your accounts will be frozen, however, if your DPP fails, your lenders can reapply these charges.

There are consequences to DAS, which includes the affect it’ll have on your credit rating – as you’ll be reducing your payments – it’ll show on your credit file for six years, and in the publically available DAS register whilst it is running, which will make it harder to obtain credit.

Read our full guide to DAS here.

Debt Management Plan

A Debt Management Plan (DMP) may be a suitable debt solution if you can’t currently afford your monthly debt repayments, but you could afford to make a reduced payment each month.

In a Debt Management Plan you, or a Debt Management provider on your behalf, negotiate with your lenders and agree new lower monthly payments – that are based on what you are able to afford and maintain. They’re not obliged to accept less than they originally agreed, but providing that your lenders can see that the proposed payments are fair to both you and them, they should accept them. You can also ask your lenders to freeze any interest and charges on your borrowing, which they don’t have to agree to, however many do.

There are consequences to a Debt Management Plan. For example, because you’ll be reducing your monthly repayments, this will affect your credit rating and will make it harder for you to obtain credit in the short term, and also sometimes in the longer term too.

Read our full guide to Debt Management Plans here.

Debt Consolidation Loan

Debt consolidation loans can be suitable if you need to simplify your finances to make them more manageable. They can help you to repay your debts at a reduced rate, over a longer time period.

It involves taking out new credit to pay off your existing credit by combining your multiple existing debts into one manageable monthly amount. You’ll be paying them off at a reduced rate over a longer period, which may mean that you’ll end up paying more overall. Instead of making lots of smaller payments each month, you’ll just have to make one, which should make managing your finances easier.

Debt consolidation loans can be unsecured, or you could take one out that’s secured against your property. You need to be confident that you’ll be able to afford the new monthly payment, especially if the loan is secured against your home, as missing repayments could result in repossession.

Read our full guide to debt consolidation loans here.

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