What are Scottish Trust Deeds?
A Scottish Trust Deed is a formal, legally binding agreement between you and your creditors in which you make affordable monthly payments towards your unsecured debts for 48 months (examples: credit cards, loans, payday loans, HMRC debt) in return writing off a large percentage of your debt. At the end of your Trust Deed, you will be completely debt free.
It is an alternative to bankruptcy (sequestration) within Scotland.
Once the Deed of Trust is in place and protected, it is a powerful tool that allows you to get back on the road to financial stability once more. Designed for those of us who have taken on too much debt, and are struggling to repay everything, it can really help you sort things out.
You will be required to pay a monthly affordable amount, agreed between you, your trustee, and the creditors. This continues over a period of 4 years, although this can vary depending on circumstances.
Providing you have met all of your obligations at the end of this period, your debts are discharged, and you can work on building a secure financial future for you and your family.
Can a Scottish Trust Deed help you?
Being in debt can be stressful, causing sleep disorders, health issues, mood swings and so much more. Fear of the brown windowed envelope dropping through the letterbox, the phone calls, or worse – bailiffs turning up on your doorstep can cause anger, shame, and a lack of self confidence.
Scottish Trust Deeds could be the debt solution you’re looking for. Offering an organised, affordable way to pay your debts, whilst protecting you from angry and sometimes aggressive creditors, Trust Deeds are a type of Government Debt Scheme and your Trust Deed becomes protected by law.
An appointed trustee is someone with in depth insolvency and financial law knowledge – usually an Insolvency Accountant, who will deal with all the administration and negotiations that are involved in having a Scottish Trust Deed.
Your trustee will assess your income and expenditure, and from these figures, will determine an affordable monthly repayment. When an amount is agreed, it is submitted to the creditors for approval. Creditors usually have a minimum payment threshold. If it is not met, the creditors may reject the proposal, and it then may become a sequestration order.
The trustee has a responsibility to you, and must document all actions, keeping you informed and up to date on any activities, whilst always remaining ethical. They may not delegate responsibilities, profit, or serve in any conflict of interest capacity.
Your trustee also has a responsibility to deal with all of your creditors for you, so that you can avoid the stress and anxiety caused by unhappy creditors.
Periodically, your trustee will review your situation, and you may be asked to provide pay slips or bank statements. If your financial circumstances have improved you could be asked to increase your monthly contributions. This could happen if you have received a promotion or a significant pay increase for example.
However, if your financial circumstances have deteriorated, your monthly contribution might be reduced. A reduction could happen if your expenditure has increased – a higher rent payment for example, or if your pay has gone down.
You should not wait for your next review if something important changes. Contact your trustee immediately if any of the following happens:
- You get a significant pay increase or decrease.
- Your expenditure increases or reduces significantly.
- You are experiencing a financial emergency.
- You have come into money
A delay in informing your trustee could cause major problems to build up for you. It is, therefore, important to let your trustee know straight away if something big changes.
Do I qualify for a Scottish Trust Deed?
To sign a Trust Deed agreement you must meet the following criteria:
- You currently live in or have lived in Scotland within the last year, or have a business in Scotland (you must be residents of Scotland)
- You have debts of £5,000 or more
- You are able to pay a monthly contribution from income or/and have realisable assets that will enable a minimum return to creditors of 10p in the £
- You are insolvent and unable to pay your debts.
It important to seek debt advice quickly, before the problem reaches a level in which you can not control.
If you are living in Northern Ireland, England or Wales, click here for IVA Advice.
Is a Scottish Trust Deed confidential?
No one will find out about your financial worries, unless you choose to tell them. Although your application will be entered into the Register of Insolvencies, this is only ever used by financial institutions, and your friends, family and colleagues will never know.
Unless you have a clause in your work contract, rental agreement and so on, then you do not have to mention anything to anyone. Letter will not be arriving at your address with ‘Scottish Trust Deed’ stamped all over them! If you decide to go down this route and keep quiet, then that is your business.
Closure and Discharge
The agreement that you signed sets out your obligations. Once these are completed, your trustee should be in a position to discharge you.
A discharge from a Scottish Trust Deed means that you are no longer subject to the rules and restrictions associated with it, and are now in a position to work on improving your credit rating and credit score.
Your trustee will inform the Accountant in Bankruptcy that you have been discharged. This information will be added to the Register of Insolvencies. At this point your discharge becomes official. They should also send you a document known as a ‘Form 5’ confirming that your discharge is official.
Your trustee also has to discharge themselves from your Trust Deed. This will occur after they have completed all of the administrative work that they need to do on your case. Depending upon their workload and priorities, this could be quite a long time after your own discharge. However, this should not affect you too much as the majority of this workload will be paperwork and the like.
Can we help you?
We have an experienced team just waiting to give you our impartial advice on debt solutions, putting your mind at rest and showing you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.