How does DAS work?
Under DAS, a debtor signs up to a debt payment programme which allows them to repay their debts based on their disposable income.
A programme can last for any reasonable length of time, depending on the amount of debt owed and how much the debtor can pay.
Creditors will receive regular payments towards the debts owed to them under the terms agreed.
When you or the DAS Administrator submits the application to creditors for approval, all interest, fees, penalties or other charges owed are frozen (provided that the proposal is approved).
The debtor is also protected from your creditors taking any action to recover their debt.
What information is in a debt payment programme?
The proposal will confirm the amount due the creditors included in the debt payment programme. It should clearly state:
The debtor’s details (name, address, postcode and date of birth)
The total amount the debtor owes
Details of all creditors to be included in the programme
The agreed amount for each repayment instalment
The frequency of the proposed payments
- The proposed length
What happens if the proposal is approved?
Following the approval of the debt payment programme, the DAS Administrator or continuing money adviser will notify the payments distributor, who will arrange the start of the payments from the debtor.
During the period of the programme, the debtor will make regular payments to the payments distributor, who will make payments to the creditors.
The payments distributor will first deduct the fee for consideration of the application form and their fee for distributing the payments.
Should the debtor’s circumstances change during the programme, they can make an application to the DAS Administrator to vary the agreed payments.
What happens if the proposal is rejected?
If the debt payment programme is rejected, the debtor will continue to owe the debt due to their creditors.
Protection from diligence will stop from the date the DAS Administrator enters the notice of rejection of the proposal on the DAS register.
The terms and conditions under which the debt was originally provided continue to apply and creditors will be able to consider whether further action to recover debts is appropriate.
What happens if a debt payment programme is completed?
A programme reaches completion at the end of the agreed period.
This will be when the debtor makes all the payments as agreed, or has made a lump sum payment equal to the sum of all outstanding payments.
What does a DAS approved money adviser do?
A DAS approved money adviser will:
- provide money advice to the debtor
- liaise with creditors on behalf of the debtor
- assist a debtor with, and advise on an application for approval, variation or revocation of a DPP
- prepare and submit on behalf of a debtor an application for approval of a DPP
- provide information to the DAS Administrator when requested, and
- act as a lay representative in court
In addition to the above a DAS approved money adviser can administer a DPP through DAS, this is a continuing money adviser. The continuing money adviser must also invite the debtor to provide a statement of their current financial circumstances every 12 months of the DPP and notify the DAS Administrator if the debtor has changed their address.
DAS approved money advisers are spilt into two groups:
- DAS approved money advisers who work in the public sector, and
- DAS approved money advisers who work in the private sector
A DAS approved money adviser must not give advice to a debtor with whom they have an association, ie husband and wife, brother/sister.
How do I become a DAS approved money adviser?
You are a can be a DAS approved money adviser if you:
- are qualified to work as an insolvency practitioner in accordance with section 390 of the 1986 Act or
- work for such an insolvency practitioner and have been given authority to act on the insolvency practitioner’s behalf as a money adviser for DAS or
- work as a money adviser for an organisation which has been awarded accreditation at Type 2 level or above against the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Provision or
- work as a money adviser for a citizens advice bureau which is a full member of the Scottish Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux - Citizens Advice Scotland or
- work as a money adviser for a local authority
- have put in place appropriate arrangements (where applicable) to ensure compliance with rules made by the Financial Conduct Authority and ensue that appropriate regard is had to guidance issued by the Financial Conduct Authority
However you may not be approved if you are—
- an associate of the debtor
- a sheriff officer or messenger-at-arms, or an employee of such a person
- a person or body providing financial services, or financial advice other than money advice, in the course of a business or otherwise for profit, or an employee of such a person, unless the person is a solicitor, chartered or certified accountant; a credit union registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 by virtue of section 1 (registration under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965) of the Credit Unions Act 1979
- a person providing debt collection services, or an employee of such a person
- a person convicted of an offence involving theft, fraud or other dishonesty
- person subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order (including an interim order) or bound by a bankruptcy restrictions undertaking, under Schedule 4A (bankruptcy restrictions order and undertaking) to the 1986 Act or under 56A or as the case may be 56F or 56G of the 1985 Act
- a person in respect of whom a court has made a disqualification order under section 1, or who has had a disqualification undertaking accepted under section 2, of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 or
- a person whose approval is revoked or suspended by the DAS Administrator.
If you want to become a DAS approved money adviser but don’t meet any of the aforementioned criteria you may apply to the DAS Administrator by:
- applying in writing either electronically incorporating an image of your relevant organisation or on headed note paper stating your name and business address
- include a statement of your suitability to act as a money adviser for the purposes of DAS
- provide evidence of any relevant training you’ve undertaken and
- enclosing a valid criminal record certificate under Part 5 of the Police Act 1997 (a disclosure Scotland certificate) dated less than 12 months before the date of your application.
The DAS Register
The DAS register is an online public register which holds information about those intending to apply for, are applying for, and those who already have a debt payment programme (DPP) under DAS. With the relevant information anyone can access the register free of charge. Creditors and credit reference agencies check this register on a regular basis and may update your credit file to reflect this information.
The information that will be held on the DAS register for each debtor applying for or is in a DPP will be
- the full name, including any former name
- the date of birth
- the home address or addresses, and any business address and
- the business address of any continuing money adviser
What is DASH?
All applications for a DAS debt payment programme should be submitted through the DAS case management system.
This centralised system is called the Debt Arrangement Scheme Hub (DASH) and will be managed by the DAS Administrator.
DASH can be accessed by all parties involved in a debt payment programme – the DAS Administrator, money advisers, debtors, creditors, insolvency practitioners in the case of Business DAS and payments distributors.
Each party will have their own secure login, password details and permission rights depending on their role.
As a DAS approved money adviser, you will use this system to prepare, submit and, depending on your role, administer the programme.