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Finding The Best Trust Deed Firms

Updated: 7th October 2016

If you’re facing the stress of unaffordable debts, you need the best help you can find.

When it comes to debt solutions such as a Scottish trust deeds, identifying the best help can be really tricky. There aren’t any useful comparison websites and the firms aren’t competing on cost. In this article we’ll explain to you some ways to find a great trust deed provider and also how to avoid some of those with a poor reputation.

Prominently displayed on the websites of some trust deed advice providers you will find certain awards such as ‘Trust Deed Provider of the Year 2011’. Such accolades should be treated with a big pinch of salt. The process behind these awards can be a little surprising. Insolvency practitioner firms may nominate themselves and then pay a large fee to the award co-ordinators to book a table at the event. A panel of nominated peers appointed by the event co-ordinators make the decisions. Clearly this is neither a rigorous nor an inclusive process.

Other websites will promote themselves as being some variant of the ‘Number One Trust Deed Website’, without ever making it clear why that claim is justified. There’s plenty of websites doing this; they cannot all be right!

Industry trade association membership may be a positive signal. However, it is not enough to base a decision upon. As well as the insolvency professional bodies, trust deed providers have the option to join trade bodies like the Debt Resolution Forum or DEMSA. Members have committed to a set of standards primarily focussed on consumer needs. This contrasts with membership of professional bodies, which sometimes focuses more narrowly upon following the professional guidance rather than delivering good customer service.

There are a number of review sites which offer an insight into the more reputable companies via customer feedback. Please remember that some companies, aware of the power of such sites, often email review links only to those clients they know to be happy with their services. This is designed to create a distorted positive view of their operations.

Our Scottish trust deed forum can also be a useful way of locating feedback regarding specific trust deed companies. It may take some digging using the forum search functions, but you’ll be able to uncover positive or negative feedback from previous clients about most firms. Please remember that forums are more often used by individuals with frustrations or concerns rather than those seeking to praise good service provision. As such, the content of our forum should also not form the sole basis of a decision.

Finding the best trust deed company is therefore not straightforward, but using the positive signals (and avoiding the red herrings mentioned previously) is a good starting point. The following ideas may also help you to make an educated decision about which company will be the best to assist you with a trust deed:

  1. If you feel like you are being sold to then you should find someone else to speak to. It’s an effective debt solution, but a trust deed requires dedication and commitment to complete; factors you should be properly warned about in advance.

  2. Don’t ever commit to a trust deed payment you don’t feel you can afford. The payment should be based upon your income and expenditure. If you run through this with an adviser, and they tell you that you must pay more, you’re not necessarily being well-advised.

  3. Don’t sign a trust deed without personally meeting with a representative from the actual trust deed provider (not an intermediary). Ask questions and request the answers are confirmed in writing before you sign the documents. Ask about how your home and car will be treated and what will happen if you earn extra money (a bonus or overtime for example).

  4. Give a wide berth to any trust deed adviser promising to devalue your home to ensure no equity is released. If they’re acting dishonestly now, how might you be treated by them later? 

  5. Don’t rush. Speak to a couple of trust deed providers and compare their advice. Confirm their advice using resources such as our forum. Ensure everything is put in writing. No matter how much financial pressure you’re under, making a good decision is far more important than making a quick decision.

Would you like to speak to our qualified debt advice team? They can help you to locate an excellent trust deed firm. You can call us on 0800 043 7201 or 0141 249 0416. Alternatively, complete one of our contact forms and we’ll get in touch with you.

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