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Money Matters Advice Service

Debt advice

If you are struggling with day-to-day finances, loan repayments, mortgage or rent payments or are in danger of losing your home, we may be able to help you. We provide free, independent and expert advice. We can guide you through the process and make you aware of all the options available. You will be assigned your own Money Adviser who will work with you. They can:

  • Help you maximise income and reduce outgoings
  • Complete a financial statement
  • Give general debt advice on options available
  • Negotiate with creditors on your behalf
  • Arrange payment plans
  • Assist with sequestration (bankruptcy) applications

For more information on the type of help we can provide, please access the relevant sections below. 

To contact one of our team, please complete our online enquiry form and someone will contact you within the next five working days. Alternatively, you can contact us using the contact details shown on this page.

Our Money is not the only problem online resource also provides information on the range of support available regarding finances and wellbeing. 

  • Moratorium – no disposable income. Some creditors may put a temporary hold on your account in the hope your financial circumstances will improve
  • Token Payment – a small amount of disposable income. Some creditors will accept as little as £1.00 per month
  • Voluntary Repayment Programme – some disposable income. We can liaise with your creditors to come to an agreement to repay your debts
  • Debt Write Off – in some cases, debts can be written off due to health circumstances
  • Full and Final Settlement – creditors can often agree to take part payment of a debt in settlement of the full amount
  • The Debt Arrangement Scheme
  • Bankruptcy (Sequestration is the legal word for Bankruptcy in Scotland)
  • Protected Trust Deed
  • Mortgage to Rent/Mortgage to Shared Equity
  • Assist you get an up-to-date credit report through Experian, Equifax or TransUnion

If you need any further help or advice, please contact us using the contact details shown on this page.

If you can’t pay your unsecured creditors, you must contact them immediately to discuss your options.

If they can’t help you, we can contact them to propose a reduced payment plan, provide a financial statement and/or discuss other options suitable to you. We will request all interest and charges are frozen to allow you to repay your debts in full. If you can’t maintain your agreed payments your creditor may pass your account to their recoveries department. They are likely to raise a default on your credit file which will remain for six years. This will make it more difficult to obtain affordable credit in the future. They may delegate or sell your account to a collection company.

If you require assistance with these types of debts, please contact us using the contact details shown on this page.

The Council Tax year runs from April to March and is paid in 10 monthly instalments from April to January. If you don’t pay your Council Tax on time, you will be sent reminder notices and final notices. This can lead to the council applying to the Sheriff Court for a Summary Warrant. At this stage, 10% costs are added to the outstanding arrears balance for the full year and the council can then take further action against you to recover the debt. This is called diligence.

Your arrears accounts can be passed to Sheriff Officers which can lead to earnings arrestment or bank arrestment. Sheriff Officers may also be able to take goods from inside or outside your home. They will first have to serve anyone with Council Tax liability a Charge for Payment of Money. This expires after 14 days and no action can be taken until it expires so there is still time to come to a repayment arrangement. In some cases, Council Tax arrears can lead to Sequestration by the local council and this puts any assets you may have, including your home, in danger.

If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax you should contact the Council Tax department in the first instance.  You can also contact our service for advice using the contact details shown on this page.

Full details on our Council Tax charges, how to pay and the range of help available on your Council Tax account is available on our Council Tax information pages.

To avoid court action you must maintain contact with your creditor.

If you fall behind with your mortgage, rent, council tax, energy or unsecured creditors payments, your creditor may take you to court to obtain a decree to recover what you owe. This may be via an earnings or bank arrestment or exceptional attachment order for items inside or outside your property. This will increase your debt by charging the court fees back to you.  Money Advisors can help you avoid this situation and represent you in court if necessary. We have a partnership with Citizens Advice who may represent you too.

Please contact us using the contact details shown on this page if you need any advice or help.

If you are in arrears with your mortgage or are struggling to maintain your mortgage payments, you must talk to your lender as soon as possible. Lenders should discuss the different ways you can pay your mortgage arrears, check if you are entitled to a payment holiday and consider any request you make to change the way you pay your mortgage. Not paying your mortgage can lead to repossession action by your lender.

We can contact your mortgage lender on your behalf, discuss all repayment options and check if you are entitled to any financial help in paying your mortgage.

If you are at risk of losing your home, the Homeowner’s Support Fund may be able to help you. This is run by the Scottish Government and is made up of two schemes, Mortgage to Rent and Mortgage to Shared Equity.

Please contact us using the contact details shown on this page if you need any advice or help.

Having rent arrears can be stressful. If you are in arrears, you should contact your Housing Officer/Landlord as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Ignoring it can make things worse and could lead to you losing your home.

You should try and come to an affordable arrangement to repay any arrears. In some cases, rent arrears can be deducted from your benefits.

If you require assistance to complete a repayment plan, you can contact us using the contact details shown on this page. We can liaise with your Housing Officer/Landlord on your behalf, discuss all repayment options and check if you are entitled to any financial help in paying your rent.

The following websites may be of some help:

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) - South Lanarkshire Council.

Housing Benefit - South Lanarkshire Council

Money Matters Advice Service

Phone: 0300 029 0041