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DSA (Debt Settlement Arrangement)

What is a DSA?

A DSA (short for Debt Settlement Arrangement) is a formal debt solution designed to help people that are struggling with unsecured debts, such as credit cards, loans, overdrafts etc… The main aim of a DSA is to:

  • reduce your debts to an affordable and manageable amount, whilst ensuring you have a reasonable standard of living.
  • reduce monthly repayments to an affordable amount.
  • write off any remaining unpaid debts on completion of the arrangement.
  • have formal protection from lenders.
  • have interest and charges frozen.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and would like to find out more about a DSA, fill in the form and we will get in touch. We will assess your situation and advise you on all options available. All advice is free and confidential and you are under no obligation by speaking with us.

Debt Settlement Arrangement

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Debt Settlement Arrangement

Example of a DSA

Below is a typical example of a DSA. Our client is an elder retired marrie female. She is struggling to repay loans on her pension income. After assessing her situation, it was determined that she was insolvent (unable to pay her debts) and that a DSA was a suitable option for her. Her creditors accepted her DSA proposal.

In the DSA, she will make reduced payments for 5 years. On completion of the DSA, any remaining debts will be written off and she will be able to start over free of her debts.

Before DSA

  • Total debts : €46,296
  • Total monthly payments on the debts : €667.12

During DSA (5 years)

  • NEW Monthly payments : €235 per month

After DSA (completion)

  • Debt written off : €32,196
  • Debt repaid : €14,100

DSA Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our DSA FAQS to find out more about a DSA, or get in touch with us if you have any questions. Fill in the form on this page, or click here to send us a WhatsApp Message.

A DSA is a formal insolvency solution that helps you address your unaffordable unsecured debts, by allowing you to repay what you can realistically afford. An unsecured debt is a debt that isn’t secured against any assets, so the likes of Credit cards, Overdrafts, store cards, some types of loans etc... If you are struggling with repayments on any of these types of debt, then a DSA might be a possible solution to help you address your financial difficulties.

How much your monthly payments are in a DSA is entirely dependent on your financial situation and your total debt level. An assessment must be carried out to determine if it is a suitable solution for your circumstances. A PIP (Personal Insolvency Practitioner) is the professional who is both qualified and authorised by the ISI (Insolvency Service of Ireland) to work out if a DSA is the right option for you and who can facilitate your DSA application. You cannot enter into a DSA without using the services of a PIP. If you apply for a DSA and your creditors approve it, your PIP is the professional who will oversee your DSA for it’s duration, through to completion.

A DSA usually consists of a series of affordable monthly payments that go towards your debts, usually for a period of 5 years. The monthly payments come from the income left over, after a realistic standard of living has been worked out from your household income. In some cases, a DSA may be shorter or may involve using a lump sum payment to address the debts, if that is something you can gain access to.

When you successfully finish making your DSA payments, any remaining debts are legally cleared and you can start over debt free and begin to work on repairing your credit rating, which will have been impacted through your insolvency. If you would like to find out more about a DSA,. Get in touch for free, confidential, no obligation advice.

Determining if you are eligible for a DSA really depends on your assessment, but there are some specific criteria involved. You must:

  • Be classed as Insolvent (unable to pay your debts).
  • Have debt outstanding to at least one debt / creditor.
  • Not have obtained 25% of your total debts recently (in the past six months).
  • Not have had a DRN (Debt Relief Notice) in the past three years.
  • Not have had a PIA (Personal Insolvency Arrangement) in the past five years.
  • Not have done a DSA before (with some exceptions).
  • Not be involved in Bankruptcy in the past five years.
  • Not have a Protective Certificate issued in respect of another DSA in the past year (A Protective Certificate is the document issued by the court that offers protection from your lenders for you and your assets during a PIA or DSA application).

In a DSA, you make affordable monthly payments towards your debts, that usually last for 5 years. This is sometimes shorter, if, for example you can gain access to a lump sum payment to settle the debts. Your PIP will distribute these payments to your creditors involved in the DSA.

On successful completion of the DSA, any remaining unsecured debts are legally cleared / written off, allowing you to start over again.

Firstly, we will only put forward a DSA application if we believe it will be successful. This will help increase your chances of a successful DSA. If we do not think a DSA would be accepted, we would not put an application through for you. In saying that, we cannot 100% guarantee if a DSA will be accepted as we cannot predict how lenders will behave, so there may be times where a DSA proposal is rejected, even if we believe it would be the best outcome for all parties involved.

If this happens you may have to seek alternative insolvency arrangements. If, in the future your situation has not been resolved, you could get in touch stating you would like to try again with a DSA application.

  • Restructure your unsecured debts to an amount that is affordable.
  • One affordable payment each month that is distributed to your lenders via your PIP or Insolvency firm.
  • Some of your debts are written off on completion of the DSA.
  • Lenders involved are unable to pursue you for repayments and cannot take legal action against you when in a DSA. Your lenders must deal with your PIP.
  • Interest and charges are frozen on your debts.
  • DSA's usually run for up to 5 years, but some can have a shorter duration. ie, if you can gain access to lump sum of money, which can be put towards the debts.
  • A DSA allows a reasonable budget for your standard of living.

  • Your credit rating will be impacted during the DSA. You can begin to repair your credit rating on completion of the DSA.
  • You cannot obtain more than €650 euro in credit without informing the lender that you are currently in a DSA.
  • If your circumstances change during the DSA, your PIP will need to work with your creditors, the ISI and the court to have the terms amended, so that your DSA can succesfully remain in place. If amended terms are not accepted, this could result in your DSA failing.
  • Details of your DSA will be entered onto a public register of DSAs with the Insolvency Service of Ireland.
  • You can only do a DSA once in your lifetime (with some exceptions).

All fees and costs will be explained in detail by your PIP, prior to your DSA application.

Some PIPs charge an initial consultation fee when you are entering into a DSA. We offer a free initial consultation. Only if your DSA application is successful will we receive any fees for adminstering and managing your DSA. The fees are built into your agreed payments to creditors, so you will never receive a bill from us. If your DSA application is not accepted, you pay nothing for the work that has been done on your proposal.

The ISI have also waived their application fees for a DSA.

Other Debt Solutions

If a DSA is not the right Insolvency solution for you, there may be other options available. You can read more about these below. If you would like any information on how you can address your unaffordable mortgage, arrears or other debts, please get in touch for free and confidential advice today.

Personal Insolvency Arrangement
PIA (Personal Insolvency Arrangement)

A PIA is a solution created to help people address their difficulties with secured debts and unsecured debts. The purpose of a PIA is to help you remain in your home wherever possible.

  • Affordable secured and unsecured debt repayments
  • Protection from creditors
  • Interest and charges frozen
  • Unsecured debt written off on completion
Debt Relief Notice
DRN (Debt Relief Notice)

A DRN is a formal debt solution, created to help people who are unable to repay their debts (up to the value of €35,000) and have little or no assets.

  • Debts are written off on completion
  • Protection from creditors
  • Interest and charges frozen
  • No monthly payments are required during the DRN period (3 years)

Bankruptcy is a formal solution for people who are unable to pay their debts (over the value of €20,000) and have explored all other Insolvency options. It is usually seen as a last resort debt solution.

  • Protection from Creditors
  • Addresses your debts
  • Allows for a reasonable standard of living
  • Peace of mind from your creditors

Client Testimonials

Struggling with mortgage payments, arrears or debts? Get a review with one of our advisors.

If you would like a free Insolvency review of your financial situation, fill in the Fact Find form providing as much information as possible and send it through. Our advisors will review your information and get in touch to advise you of all options available.

Open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm is a trading style of McCambridge Duffy. McCambridge Duffy Limited is a Limited Company registered in Ireland | Registered number 527584 | Registered office Suite 6, Spencer House, High Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, F92 V8XC

All our advice is free. A fee is only payable where further services are requested. All fees will be explained in detail and discussed prior to commencement of any debt solution.

Ronan Duffy, Daragh Duffy, Daniel Rule and Judy Mooney are authorised by the Insolvency Service of Ireland to carry on practice as personal insolvency practitioners. Ronan Duffy, Daniel Rule and Judy Mooney are authorised to act as insolvency practitioners by Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland.