The Scottish Government has launched a campaign to promote the Scottish Government-backed scheme for those with unmanageable debts.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) has been billed as an alternative to bankruptcy and allows individual debtors to freeze interest and charges to prevent debts mounting and stop creditors using debt enforcement action.
DAS give debtors the opportunity to protect their homes provided they keep up mortgage repayments.
The scheme is being administered by the Accountant in Bankruptcy and Debt Payment Programmes arranged under the scheme allow people to pay back their debts over a “reasonable” length of time, based on the amount they owe and their income and outgoings.
Creditors will receive at least 90 per cent of the money they are owed by the time the payment programme finishes under the plans.
Scottish enterprise minister Fergus Ewing said the scheme was vital in improving the quality of life for those in debt.
He added: “The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) is a way for people who are struggling to pay back their debts to freeze their interest payments and charges, protect themselves from legal action, and give themselves longer to pay.
“Rather than juggling several payments, they make a single regular payment to one organisation. DAS is the only Government-backed scheme to do this, and it allows hard-pressed families to take control of the situation before it is too late.
“AiB’s recent work to raise awareness of DAS and its benefits for debtors and creditors has been reflected in the recent increase in take-up for the scheme. It offers a sensible option for Scots who are finding it difficult to keep on top of their debts but want to avoid bankruptcy.
“We have seen a 100 per cent growth in the number of people using the scheme between the third quarter of 2011/12 and the corresponding period last year.
“I welcome this increase, and would encourage others who are struggling with debts to use the scheme to take control.”