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NACAS and AiB join forces to deliver new money advice service
NACAS and AiB join forces to deliver new money advice service11 July 2012
North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service Press Release:
The nationally accredited information and advice provider North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service (NACAS) has joined forces with Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), Scotland’s Insolvency Service, to deliver a brand new money advice service in a pilot project being run from AiB’s premises.
The pilot exercise, which has been running since April, has seen a mix of new and existing customers benefit from the money advice and debt solutions on offer. This ambitious project to provide comprehensive money advice and debt solutions, has not only benefited the people of North Ayrshire, but has seen customers as far away as Inverness and Arbroath take advantage of its services.
Since its launch, it has been dealing with a wide range of enquiries from customers about bankruptcy, the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) and trust deeds as well as general money advice. The joint initiative by NACAS and AiB aims to deliver effective money and debt advice to customers by helping them explore the options and debt solutions available based on their individual circumstances. The service can help clients take back control of their finances by helping to reduce monthly repayments to an affordable level, stop creditors taking enforcement action and protect important assets such as homes. By fully exploring the options available, customers are better informed and able to make better choices based on impartial and free advice.
In the last financial year, NACAS received 5,244 enquires from the public regarding debt issues, over 30% of all enquiries. With the threat of job losses and a difficult economic climate, it is more important than ever that people have access to free debt advice.
Speaking about the new money advice service, Nina Smith General Manager of North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service, said:
“Debt is a huge worry for many and can have a major impact on people’s lives. It can place a strain on relationships; affect health and impact on performance in the workplace. We would encourage anyone with money problems to seek the free and confidential advice we provide and tackle the problem early. There is a credible and free alternative to commercial debt management companies who often charge fees which can add to the burden of debt.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Accountant in Bankruptcy to deliver a money advice service that provides excellent, high quality and independent debt advice which, most importantly, is free and confidential and we look forward to continuing that work.”
- NACAS was formed in July 1998 from the amalgamation of Cunninghame Citizens Advice, the Unemployed Workers Centre and Arran Information and Advice and was incorporated into the Citizens Advice Service in August 1998.
- NACAS has five Citizens Advice Bureaux in North Ayrshire situated in Arran, Irvine, Kilbirnie, Largs and Saltcoats.
- NACAS gained accreditation in Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (A Quality Assurance Framework) in 2010.
- In 2011/2012 NACAS received 5,244 Debt Enquiries, 30.05% of all enquiries handled last year.
- Debt remedies are the most common issue brought to the NACAS debt advice service, making up 21% of all debt issues. Over half of the debt remedies on which advice was provided involved a voluntary repayment scheme (628 enquiries), with 17% (195 enquiries) being for Low Income-Low Asset sequestrations and 2.75% (32 enquiries) for Debt Arrangement Scheme.
- The CAB Money Advice Service (provided by NACAS) pilot will run until 31 March 2013 and will be fully evaluated at that time.
- Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. Its mission is: “To ensure access to fair and just processes of debt relief and debt management for the people of Scotland, which takes account of the rights and interests of those involved”. Further information about the Agency and its work can be found at www.aib.gov.uk