We’re a major professional services firm with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen, Grangemouth and Inverness. The nature of our business is that our focus is on quality rather than quantity.
Our Trust Deed clients are assisted by professionals at their local office rather than by a central callcentre team.
We cover the whole of Scotland including the Highlands and Islands.
We are regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and are subject to regular review and inspection. ICAS provide guidance to us on how to conduct our business and also serve as a point of complaint should it be required.
The Accountant in Bankruptcy also has a statutory role nowadays, overseeing all protected trust deeds that are signed.
I’ll get in touch with the client immediately to talk through their situation.
From there we can organise a meeting at the client’s home or their local Tenon office. At this meeting we can confirm whether a Trust Deed represents the best course of action, discuss alternatives, and confirm the facts of the case. We can also provide written confirmation as to how assets such as a home or car would be dealt with.
Should our client wish to proceed we will organise a further meeting at which the Trust Deed is signed.
People want to understand how their home will be treated in a Trust Deed and I’m happy to run through this in detail. I often find people wish to double-check that a Trust Deed is formally legally binding and will resolve their debt concerns. Another area of discussion tends to be how their Trust Deed would be affected if their circumstances were to change. I’m pleased to inform people who ask that we will not be notifying their employer of their Trust Deed. Finally a lot of people wish to discuss the implications to their credit rating and future access to credit of a Trust Deed.
We repeatedly confirm understanding with our clients and provide checklists written in clear terms to assist this process. We work through the checklist in detail with each client. The Trust Deed itself and other paperwork is left with clients so they can consider the contents and get back in touch if they have further thoughts or questions.
Where a client requests it we can provide written confirmation as to how their assets will be dealt with in advance of signing the Trust Deed.
Also in advance of signing the Trust Deed we will conduct a “desktop valuation” on their property so that our client knows where they stand. This has to be followed up with a proper valuation after the Trust Deed is signed, but the valuation will not normally change except in exceptional circumstances where the features of the property are markedly different from what was expected. Approximately £5000 (possibly more for high value homes) of equity is not taken into consideration as it would not be realisable even if the property were sold, due to legal/selling costs.
With cars the key point is whether there is a reasonable need for the car (for example commuting to work). If so, the car can usually be ignored altogether, unless it is of significantly high value. With high value cars we would either agree that the client switches for a lower value car and pays the profit into the trust deed; or review the value of the car at the end of the trust deed and seek payment of funds from the client to buy out their creditors’ interest if they would rather not sell.
People should check their contract of employment and if still not clear speak to their HR Department or Union. Most people will find that there is no problem.
Professionals should approach their regulatory/professional bodies.
We charge no upfront fees. The complexity of a case is assessed and from this we propose a fee level to creditors as part of the Trust Deed. Our client receives a copy of this information. The fees themselves are paid from the funds contributed to the Trust Deed.
We try not to make recommendations; we discuss all available options with our clients to equip them to make the right decision for themselves. Quite a significant number of the people we meet subsequently conclude that another option makes better sense for them.
Very few cases fail to become protected. This is because we know what creditors’ criteria for acceptance are so clients who are not likely to be successful in their proposals will often choose another route. In the few instances that Trust Deeds have failed we had advised our client in advance that there was high potential for a particular creditor to raise objections. These clients were happy to enter sequestration if a Trust Deed did not become protected and therefore instructed us to proceed.
We conduct an annual review, though are available at any time should clients wish to speak to us. Cost of living increases are factored into the reviewing process and we usually find that the contribution levels stay the same.
I’ve found contributing to Trust-Deed.co.uk forum personally rewarding because of the opportunity it presents to assist people who genuinely need help and information. It has also been illuminating in terms of learning how different parts of our industry operate. I think the site goes a long way to “tip the balance” in favour of those considering entering a Trust Deed compared to the days when very little information was available as to what is right and wrong in the way people are treated by firms handling Trust Deeds.
Kevin regrets that he cannot communicate directly with visitors about existing protected trust deeds being managed by other companies. If this applies to you, please ask your questions in our Trust Deed Forum where Kevin and the other experts will do their best to help you.
If you would like Kevin and his team to handle a Protected Trust Deed or DAS for you please fill in the contact form below (or call the site advice team on the advice line numbers provided).