New drive to help financially-stricken families

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A Scottish Government campaign will highlight help for people struggling with debt, Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing announced today.

The campaign raises awareness of the Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), an initiative that enables people to pay back debts over any reasonable length of time, based on the amount owed and their income and outgoings.

Administered by government agency Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), it also freezes interest, fees and charges to prevent debts mounting up.  It stops creditors using debt enforcement action, safeguarding people’s homes so long as they keep up mortgage repayments.

The campaign will help people take the first step in solving their money worries by directing them to information on how to find their nearest approved money adviser online at www.helpoutofthehole.org, which goes live on Monday.

.Mr Ewing said: “The Scottish Government continues to take action, where it can, to address these problems and introduce measures to help those people in Scotland who are struggling under the burden of debt.

“The Debt Arrangement Scheme is the only government-backed scheme to help people pay back their debts in a dignified way, protecting them from the threat of action by their creditors

“Recent changes to the Scheme have allowed for earlier freezing of interest, fees and charges helping to prevent debts increasing further.

“Our aim with this campaign is to raise awareness of DAS which helps people faced with the difficulties of debt to take control of their finances and get help out of the hole”

A television and online campaign, which first ran in 2012, will be re-run for 6 weeks, beginning week commencing August 19 on STV, Channel 4(Scotland) and Channel 5(Scotland).