If you are struggling with problem debt, then every penny counts. You might wonder why you would want to pay for debt advice, when you can get it for free from a public-sector organisation such as the local council, citizen’s advice bureau or a debt charity?
These public-sector organisations are known as money advisers. Due to their large volume of cases, you may have to wait for months for your first appointment, during which time you will continue to have to deal with your creditors and potentially slide further into debt.
Once you have met your money adviser, they can prepare and submit an application for approval of a Debt Payment Plan (DPP) in a Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS). At this stage, your case is taken over by the Accountant in Bankruptcy, however if you then need further advice, you are expected to get back in touch with the money adviser.
Approved private sector organisations such as accountants and insolvency practitioners are known as continuing money advisers. You can usually get a quick appointment, where they are happy to give you free initial advice. There may be a charge for setting up and administering a Debt Arrangement Scheme.
The continuing money adviser keeps responsibility for your case, from the initial application through to the end of the term of the Debt Arrangement Scheme. The adviser can contact your creditors and explain that there is a plan in place. This will usually mean you no longer get letters or calls from your creditors, and if you do you can direct them to your continuing money adviser. Having one point of contact certainly makes life easier.
An approved continuing money adviser, working with an insolvency practitioner, can also provide advice on business DAS cases.
At Thomson Cooper we are specialists in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency, including the Debt Arrangement Scheme. This can be used to assist individuals, sole traders and partnerships to deal with problem debt. With a wealth of experience in this area, you can be sure Thomson Cooper will give you the right advice for your circumstances. We will also be a phone call away if you do need any advice or help during the DAS.
If you would like to talk to someone about problem debt, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Ian Brown is a senior manager with Thomson Cooper Accountants.