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Hi, I’m Paul McDougall, a Manager with Wylie & Bisset LLP. I specialise in Trust Deeds, Debt Payment Programmes under the Debt Arrangement Schemes and Sequestrations. I am based in Glasgow but cover the whole of Scotland. I’m here and ready to answer any debt related queries that you may have and to help get you get back on track financially.
No one takes on credit with the prospects of not paying it back. In my 18 years of experience in dealing with personal insolvency, most people find themselves being unable to cover the cost of this debt due to several contributing factors such as redundancy, ill health, low paying wages or increased cost of living etc.
Over the years, I have gained invaluable experience in my role as debt advisor and able to provide support and guidance to individuals in dealing with their debt problem. We all find ourselves struggling at times with life issues and I feel very fortunate to being able to speak to clients in order that I can provide support and to work out a solution to their debt problem.
During University, I worked for a retiring Insolvency Practitioner and that gave me the opportunity to get involved in the more technical side of insolvency. After graduating, I secured a placement within Wylie & Bisset in 2006 and quickly realised I enjoyed the client facing and advisor role.
Working for Wylie & Bisset for the last 13 years has given me the opportunity to progress my career and for them to invest in me as an employee and to continue delivering the first-class customer service to clients.
Outside the office, I have many hobbies and interests such as socialising with friends, travelling and attending many concerts. I adopted a rescue Patterdale dog called Buddy several years ago and normally you can find me going to the local park for walks with him and my partner.
How would you describe your firm as it compares to others?
Wylie & Bisset LLP is one of the oldest and independent accountancy firms within Scotland. We operate with 12 partners from our flagship Glasgow office.
We were one of six Scottish Firms awarded a Government Contract from the Accountant in Bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequently have continued to be awarded to majority share of the contract over the years. We are now only one of two Scottish Firms that retain the contact award and we currently service 60% of the Bankruptcies that are awarded in Scotland through the Accountant in Bankruptcy.
We are currently one of top 5 firms that deal with the majority of Trust Deeds signed and we believe our expertise allows us to provide a customer driven service throughout the whole of Scotland.
What geographical area do you cover?
We cover the whole of Scotland, including the Highlands and Islands.
Who regulates you and how does it protect your clients?
We are regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland and our Insolvency Practitioners are regulated by the Insolvency Practitioners' Association. We are members of Money Advice Scotland and adhere to their principles.
In addition, we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide Debt Management advice under the Debt Arrangement Scheme.
What actually happens when someone gets in touch with your firm?
We contact the client to formally introduce ourselves and request a meeting. The meeting can either be at our office, their home or a mutually convenient place of their choosing. We always recommend to clients to write down any questions or concerns they have in order that they can be answered at the meeting.
At the meeting, we complete a questionnaire allowing us to access their situation and then discuss the various options that may be available. We would outline both the advantages and disadvantages of each option in order that the client can make an informed decision.
We recognise that entering a debt solution is big step to take and we also advise the client to take time to consider all options in order not to rush into anything too quickly.
After the meeting, we provide a follow up letter detailing options discussed and provide the client with a cooling off period. The letter details how we deal with assets such as property or motor vehicle.
What are the main concerns of those who contact you?
We believe the main concern of clients is to ensure they are being treated fairly and non-judgementally, whilst ensuring they are being given the correct information to allow them to make an informed assessment on their situation.
The language attached to Scottish Trust Deeds can be very confusing. How do you go about ensuring that your clients understand the commitment they are making?
We agree that at times, the language surrounding Trust Deeds can be confusing and intimidating.
We avoid using jargon at all times and that is why we insist on having a face to face meeting to ensure the client understands the process.
Any meeting with the client is followed up with a letter containing the file note of the meeting. Clients are encouraged to contact us if they have any questions in relation to the Trust Deed process.
How does your firm deal with assets/equity (especially home and car)?
We recognise that clients are understandably concerned with what happens to assets as part of the process.
Before a client signs into anything legally binding, the full treatment of assets is discussed with them in order that they can make an informed decision.
In term of property:
We would instruct a professional valuation from a Chartered Surveyor and ask the client to provide us with an updated mortgage settlement figure in order that we can accurately assess the equity position.
If the property is over-secured, then we would have no further interest in the property. If there is some equity within the property then this can be dealt with either as an extension of Trust Deed payments or on some occasions, a third party that is known to the client (family or partner) may be prepared to pay this during the duration of the Trust Deed.
Any agreement in respect of the property is signed by a legally binding agreement that is sent to creditors and to the Accountant in Bankruptcy. This provides protection and more importantly peace of mind.
In terms of motor vehicles:
Any car that is reasonably required for work purposes and is worth under £3000 is ignored. For cars worth more than this we would have to seek for the excess value over £3000 to be paid into the trust deed to allow the car to be retained.
In your experience will entering into a Scottish Trust Deed affect someone professionally?
For the vast majority of people there is no effect at all on their job from signing a Trust Deed, however we recommend that people check their contract of employment just in case or speak to their HR department or Union Representative.
Professionals should always seek guidance from their professional bodies before acting.
Do you charge up-front fees? How are your fees worked out and paid for?
We do not charge any up-front fees.
Our fees comprise of a fixed fee plus an additional percentage fee for any assets ingathered.
The vast majority of creditors are represented by agencies and they outline the level of fee that is acceptable.
Any fees paid to us come out of the payments you make into the Trust Deed and are subject to an independent review if requested by the Accountant in Bankruptcy.
Our fees are fully transparent and outlined in our Engagement Letter and Proposal to Creditors.
How often do you recommend solutions other than Scottish Trust Deeds?
Our job is to ensure clients fully understand all debt solutions for them to make an informed decision.
It is important to recognise that a Trust Deed may not be the best option for the clients, and we must ensure clients are fully aware of other solutions that may be available.
What percentage of the Scottish Trust Deeds you put forward becomes "protected"?
In our experience and to provide peace of mind for the client, the vast majority of Trust Deeds that are proposed to creditors become protected.
Not every creditor accepts Trust Deed proposals for a variety of reasons however, based on our experience, we know who these creditors are and can resolve a client’s debt issue by an alternative solution. We administer all types of insolvency solutions and also Debt Payment Programmes under the Debt Arrangement Scheme.
What happens after a Scottish Trust Deed becomes protected? What contact will people have with your firm?
Once your Trust Deed achieves Protected Status, your case administrator will contact you by telephone to deliver this news.
After this, we will send out a letter to confirm the position and will review your case annually. This will involve us sending you out a form to assess your current status.
Paul 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 Paul and our other experts will do their best to help you.
If you would like Paul and his team to handle a Scottish Trust Deed for you please fill in the contact form below (or call our advice team on the advice line numbers provided).
Page last updated 16/12/2019
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