One of the big problems facing many families across the UK is the problem of unmanageable debt. Despite interest rates remaining at record lows, unsecured debt continues to pose huge problems, leading many to research various debt relief options in order to resolve their debts. While this is a UK wide problem, interestingly the solutions on offer differ in certain parts of the UK.
Specifically, some of the solutions on offer in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are not available in Scotland.
Can you get an IVA in Scotland?
As mentioned above, some of the debt relief options available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are not available in Scotland. One such option is that of an IVA. IVAs are not available in Scotland but there is an alternative arrangement in place, known as a Trust Deed Scotland.
How do Trust Deeds work?
While a Scottish Trust Deed is not an IVA, it does have some similarities. Under a Trust Deed, a borrower’s assets are transferred to a trustee. These assets can then be sold to raise money to give to your creditors or pay some of the trustee’s fees, though you will often be allowed to keep items needed for day to day living and this could possibly include your car.
You may also be required to remortgage your home in order to release some of the available equity to help pay off your creditors. As well as transferring your assets to a trustee as a one-off measure at the start of your trust deed arrangement, you will also then need to make regular payments toward your debts for a typical period of 4 years.
Any payments will be relative to your personal circumstances and at the end of the 4-year period – if you’ve kept up with your repayments – the debts which you have included in the trust deed will be written off.
What are the pros and cons?
The main pros to a Scottish Trust Deed is the fact that at the end of the 4-year repayment period, you will finally be free of the debts which are included in it. Not only this but the repayments will be based upon your own personal circumstances and you will no longer be hassled by your creditors, as your trustee will take care of the communications once the deed is in place.
As for the cons, the main ones are that it is still possible for you to be made bankrupt if you do not fully cooperate with the trustee. Also, the Trust Deed arrangement is likely to have a negative impact on your credit score for a period of around 6 years. The arrangement could also affect your ability to be a director in a company or to take up certain jobs in certain fields.
Just to recap, then, while you might not be able to get an IVA in Scotland, there is a similar arrangement available in the form of a Scottish Trust Deed. Whether this arrangement is right for you or not, it is good to know that there are options available besides bankruptcy should your debts become unmanageable.