If you're worried about debt or are struggling to manage your money, we can help. Last year over 1000 people in the Falkirk Council area got help from local money advice services.
How we can help
We have our own Debt Advice Team and can give you help and advice on all types of debt including rent and mortgage arrears, council tax, personal loans, hire purchase agreements, credit cards, store cards, payday loans and catalogues.
We can help you:
- with personal budgeting support
- deal with your debts
- review the money you have coming in and going out
- understand what the people you owe money to, known as creditors, can and can't do to recover it
Advice is free, confidential and impartial and is available to anyone who lives or works in the Falkirk Council area.
If you have a question about money or debt, or want to know more about how money advice can help you, start a live chat with us.
If you are facing eviction or repossession within the next 72 hours or need to speak to an adviser urgently, please call us on 01324 506735.
Citizens Advice Bureaux
Citizens Advice Bureaux are local, independent charities that provide free and confidential advice and information whoever you are and whatever your problem. They can help you:
- manage your debts
- improve your financial situation
- make sure that you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to
You can use our budgeting tool to help your create your own personal budget plan.
Scotland's Financial Health Service has a range of tools and advice that can
help you make the most of your money.
What are my options for dealing with debt?
Your options may include the following:
If you have income left after paying your housing costs, fuel and food we can contact your creditors with a financial statement offering affordable repayments.
Debt Payment Plan (Debt Arrangement Scheme)
The Debt Payment Plan (DPP) is a debt management tool introduced by the Scottish Government. The DPP can help you pay your debt in a managed way, so you are not being pressured by your creditors and preventing the threat of court action.
This is a more formal arrangement and you need to have outstanding debt of £5000 or more. You must be able to make a payment to your trust deed by having disposable income available or an asset (normally property) to be sold to finance an offer to your creditors. As a rule the trust deed normally becomes protected by law, meaning your creditors cannot take action against you during the time it lasts. The period you would contribute usually lasts for 48 months, after this you would normally be discharged from your debt.
This is usually a last resort for serious debt problems. There are 2 ways to apply for bankruptcy:
Minimal Assets Process (MAP)
If you wish to apply for you own bankruptcy, you must have debt over £1500, with no assets and no disposable income. You will be able to apply for your own Bankruptcy through the Minimal Assets Process (MAP). The application fee for this is £90.00. You will be discharged from your Bankruptcy after 6 months.
Full Administration Bankruptcy
If you have debt over £17,000 you can apply for your own Bankruptcy through a Full Administration Bankruptcy. You will need a Certificate for Sequestration which you will be given by a Money Adviser. The application fee for this option is £200.00. If you cooperate with your Trustee you will be discharged from you Bankruptcy after 12 months. Please note that with this option you may have to make a contribution for up to 48 months.
With the introduction of the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 there are several key temporary changes that affect how debt solutions within Scotland function.
extending the existing moratorium on diligence and bankruptcy from 6 weeks to 6 months, preventing creditors from taking action against individuals who have financial difficulties
removing restrictions on an individual benefiting from more than one moratorium in a 12-month period, ensuring applicants prior to the Act are not disadvantaged
increasing the minimum amount someone must owe before a creditor, or group of creditors, can petition for their bankruptcy from £3,000 to £10,000
eliminating application fees for Individuals in receipt of certain benefits and a reduction in application fees for all other MAP and full administration bankruptcies to £50 and £150 respectively
widening the criteria for accessing the Minimal Asset Process bankruptcy by increasing the maximum debt threshold from £17,000 to £25,000 and excluding student loan debt from that threshold
extending the period for trustees to seek a contribution order from 6 to 12 weeks after the award of sequestration, and
improved the efficiency of the processes by allowing more electronic and virtual administration (for example, removing the need for wet signatures and allowing virtual meetings).
Provisions in the Act allow the Scottish Parliament to extend any of these temporary provisions beyond the initial expiry date of 30 September 2020 to 31 March 2021. One further, final extension until 30 September 2021 is also possible if deemed necessary.
For further information please contact the Accountant in Bankruptcy directly or contact a debt adviser to discuss.
These are usually regular payment between £1 and £50 per month that can be offered to creditors instead of the full monthly agreed repayment. This option is particularly useful if your circumstances are only temporary ie off work sick or recently been made redundant.
A moratorium is a legally authorised hold on your debt payments for a period of time.
Home Owners Support Fund
The Scottish Government's Home Owners Support Fund (HOSF) is for home owners who are finding it difficult to pay their mortgage or any loans that are secured against their property. HOSF has two schemes for home owners:
- The Mortgage to Rent Scheme
- The Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme
These schemes help people who are in danger of having their homes repossessed to stay in their homes as tenants of a social landlord.
How we deal with your personal details
We treat the information you give us in confidence. However, sometimes we may have to share this information with other services. We will tell you if we need to do this and ask for your permission. You can access your case records at any time and copies of all letters can be provided.
See how much our Debt Advice service has helped Falkirk Council residents:
In the last financial year 2019/20 the Service helped 745 new clients deal with debts totalling £5.3 million. The advisers also managed to stop 60 evictions.
Total Number of Client’s & Debt per ward April 2019 – March 2020
||Total Debt Recorded
||Number of Clients
|Bo'ness and Blackness
|Bonnybridge and Larbert
|Carse, Kinnaird and Tryst
|Denny and Banknock
Frequently asked questions