If you're worried about debt or are struggling to manage your money, we can help. Last year over 1000 people in the Falkirk Council area got help from local money advice services.
How we can help
We have our own Debt Advice Team and can give you help and advice on all types of debt including rent and mortgage arrears, council tax, personal loans, hire purchase agreements, credit cards, store cards, payday loans, catalogues and fuel bills.
We can help you:
- with personal budgeting support
- deal with your debts
- review the money you have coming in and going out
- understand what the people you owe money to, known as creditors, can and can't do to recover it
Advice is free, confidential and impartial and is available to anyone who lives or works in the Falkirk Council area.
If you have a question about money or debt, or want to know more about how money advice can help you, contact us.
If you are facing eviction or repossession within the next 72 hours or need to speak to an adviser urgently, please call us on 01324 506735.
* Monday to Friday: 10am - 12pm and 2pm - 4pm
If you need guidance on how to connect to a video call or are having problems call us on 01324 506735.
Video conference appointments are offered to all of our clients. Please follow the link to our online referral or contact us on the telephone number below to speak to an adviser who will arrange an appointment for you and provide you with a link to join.
Citizens Advice Bureau
Citizens Advice Bureau are local, independent charities that provide free and confidential advice and information whoever you are and whatever your problem. They can help you:
- manage your debts
- improve your financial situation
- make sure that you’re getting all the benefits you're entitled to
You can use our budgeting tool to help your create your own personal budget plan.
What are my options for dealing with debt?
Your options may include the following:
For help with fuel debt, our Energy grants page lists help available.
If you have income left after paying your housing costs, fuel and food we can contact your creditors with a financial statement offering affordable repayments.
Debt Payment Plan (Debt Arrangement Scheme)
The Debt Payment Plan (DPP) is a debt management tool introduced by the Scottish Government. The DPP can help you pay your debt in a managed way, so you are not being pressured by your creditors and preventing the threat of court action.
This is a more formal arrangement and you need to have outstanding debt of £5000 or more. You must be able to make a payment to your trust deed by having disposable income available or an asset (normally property) to be sold to finance an offer to your creditors. As a rule the trust deed normally becomes protected by law, meaning your creditors cannot take action against you during the time it lasts. The period you would contribute usually lasts for 48 months, after this you would normally be discharged from your debt.
This is usually a last resort for serious debt problems. There are 2 ways to apply for bankruptcy:
Minimal Assets Process (MAP)
If you wish to apply for your own bankruptcy, you may qualify through the Minimal Asset Process (MAP). Providing you have debt totalling no more than £25,000, and have no disposable income available with which to pay towards your debts there will be no application fee to pay. A Money Adviser will be able to provide you with further information on this process.
Your total debts are no more than £25,000. Student loans aren't counted when working out how much you owe.
Your total assets are worth no more than £2,000. Basic household items and furniture you need for everyday living are not counted.
You don't have any individual assets that are worth more than £1,000. (A car that you reasonably need will not be counted providing it is not worth more than £3,000).
You don't own any land or buildings.
You have a valid certificate for sequestration. This is a formal document confirming that you cannot pay your debts as they fall due.
A money adviser must assess your income and expenditure using the Common Financial Tool. This must show that you have no money available to pay your creditors after your essential bills have been paid. If your income is made up of only benefits, and you have received them for at least 6 months before your application, you automatically meet this condition.
You have not been made bankrupt under the minimal asset process rules in the last 10 years.
You have not been made bankrupt under other rules in the past 5 years.
Full Administration Bankruptcy (FAB)
If you have debt over £25,000 you can apply for your own bankruptcy through a Full Administration Bankruptcy (FAB).
You still need to meet certain criteria:
Your total debts must be at least £3,000.
You must not have been made bankrupt under other rules in the past 5 years.
You must either be apparently insolvent or have a certificate for sequestration.
The application fee for this option is normally £150, however depending on your circumstances you may not need to pay the fee. A Money Adviser will be able to provide you with further information on this. If you cooperate with your Trustee, you will be discharged from you bankruptcy after 12 months. Please note that with this option you may have a contribution to make for up to 48 months.
For further information please contact the Accountant in Bankruptcy directly or contact a Money Adviser to discuss.
These are usually regular payment between £1 and £50 per month that can be offered to creditors instead of the full monthly agreed repayment. This option is particularly useful if your circumstances are only temporary ie off work sick or recently been made redundant.
A moratorium is a legally authorised hold on your debt payments for a period of time.
Home Owners Support Fund
The Scottish Government's Home Owners Support Fund (HOSF) is for home owners who are finding it difficult to pay their mortgage or any loans that are secured against their property. HOSF has two schemes for home owners:
- The Mortgage to Rent Scheme
- The Mortgage to Shared Equity Scheme
These schemes help people who are in danger of having their homes repossessed to stay in their homes as tenants of a social landlord.
How we deal with your personal details
We treat the information you give us in confidence. However, sometimes we may have to share this information with other services. We will tell you if we need to do this and ask for your permission. You can access your case records at any time and copies of all letters can be provided.
See how much our Debt Advice service has helped Falkirk Council residents:
In the last financial year 2022/23 the Service helped 891 new clients deal with debts totalling £5.2million. Financial Gain recorded for clients was £250,856.81.
Total number of client's and debt per ward (April 2022 – March 2023)
||Total debt recorded
||Number of clients
|Bo'ness / Blackness
|Bonnybridge & Larbert
|Carse, Kinnaird & Tryst
|Denny & Banknock
|FC Staff & other (outwith Area)
Frequently asked questions
- Can I be visited in my own home by someone from the debt advice service?
- Can the debt advisor represent me at court?
- What kind of debt can you advise me on?
- Is it only council tenants that can get help from the debt advice service?
Can I be visited in my own home by someone from the debt advice service?
Yes, the debt advisors can arrange to see you in your own home.
Can the debt advisor represent me at court?
Depending on the type of court action involved, our debt advisers can represent you at court.
What kind of debt can you advise me on?
We can provide you with help and advice on all types of debt including rent and mortgage arrears, council tax, fuel bills, personal loans, hire purchase agreements, credit cards, store cards, payday loans and catalogues.
Is it only council tenants that can get help from the debt advice service?
No, the debt advice service is a free service for anyone who needs it.