Can Police Officers Use a Trust Deed?

In recent times many police officers have suffered financially as a result of overtime cuts and other allowances being reduced. If debt repayments were tight before, these changes could easily create a situation where the debts are no longer affordable and a trust deed may be necessary. At Trust-Deed.co.uk our advice team are commonly asked whether a serving police officer can enter into a protected trust deed in Scotland. One reason we are asked is because there is so much contradictory information online about whether a police officer is even allowed to have a trust deed. Find out the facts here…

Speak to Debt Professionals First
If you are a police officer and you have found yourself in a position where you are unable to maintain your monthly debt repayments to your creditors, the first step is for you to seek advice from a qualified debt or trust deed adviser. They’ll be able to review your circumstances, tell you which options are available to you, and the potential ramifications of each. If one of the options suggested is a trust deed (or sequestration, or the debt arrangement scheme) there will be some steps you need to take before going ahead.

Be Open With your Professional Standards Department
As you are no doubt already aware, it’s fundamentally important that as a police officer you maintain levels of integrity and honesty. Part of this can include being open and honest about significant issues, like the use of a trust deed, which in the eyes of others have the potential to inadvertently affect your work. Your professional standards department are the people to talk to about this. This department is usually supportive and helpful where police officers are open about their trust deed difficulties (rather than keeping them concealed where they could create vulnerabilities and risks). It is now very unusual for police officers to lose their job due to their financial problems, including going ahead with a Scottish trust deed, as long as they are forthcoming and honest about their situation in advance.

Take Concerns to your Welfare Department
We appreciate that for many officers approaching professional standards about starting a trust deed may be a worrying prospect. If you are concerned, you may find your welfare department helpful, especially if you are looking for information about how similar situations have been dealt with previously by your particular force. Another potentially softer first port of call might be the Federation. We have been contacted by police welfare and professional standards teams in the past and they always emphasised the fact that any officer considering a trust deed must speak to them before going ahead.

If you do not inform professional standards about serious financial difficulties or a trust deed they may subsequently find out via a security or vetting check which are carried out at different stages of your career. A failure to have been open about a trust deed could be potentially extremely damaging to your prospects of carrying on in your role.

In the End…
Being a serving police officer does not prevent you from going ahead with a protected trust deed. However, it’s not necessarily as straightforward as it would be for most people. These additional considerations should not be allowed to put you off dealing with your debts though. There are plenty of serving police officers that are either in a trust deed or who have completed a trust deed. It’s simply the case that you must be open and thoughtful about how you proceed.

To find out more information about using a trust deed, whether you are a police officer or not, visit the rest of our website at Trust-Deed.co.uk. You’ll find heaps of information about how a trust deed works, how to live with a trust deed and other trust deed issues. We also have a forum where you can talk to others about your experiences and get information from the experts. If you’d like to speak to a professionally qualified trust deed advisor in person, call our excellent team on 0800 043 7201.

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