I have debts in the region of £23,000 and was initially going through a DMP with the CCCS. A friend of mine was aware of my situation and just happened to work for Debt Advisor (okay, so a little biased!).
He went through a preliminary interview and reckoned he could save me around £200 per month on my payments, and still end up paying some 85% over the same five years.
After sending me the details (which were collected by hand), my assessment resulted in a slightly larger payment than forecast (mainly due to Halifax/Bank of Scotland (HBOS) being uncompromising). Now, I'm paying out around £100 per month less than I was (apparently, 87% repayments is not good enough for HBOS!) and no longer have to worry about any more communication from my creditors.
I must say though, that most of my creditors have been really, really great (especially Egg and Barclays). Unfortunately for me, HBOS have been useless - but I gather this is not unknown.
My main problem with HBOS is that they appear to have no idea what arrangements have been made, or who is currently handling your account(s). This got so bad I eventually complained to the Ombudsman and Office of Fair Trading (still waiting for a response).
NOTE: I would not recommend HBOS for any account whatsoever.
Back to The Debt Advisor, I can personally recommend James Pearson and Mark Salmon for all their help - well done lads, I owe you both a drink!
If I had to give any advice I would say get something organised sooner rather than later, and off your own back - it looks better for you should the worse happen.
Best of luck to anyone in the same situation as me. Persevere and it will get better.