Debt Relief Order

What is a Debt Relief Order (DRO)?

A Debt Relief Order or DRO provides a way of dealing with debts you can’t afford to pay. It presents an alternative to bankruptcy, and like bankruptcy, you’ll usually be discharged after a year, at which point all debts included will be cleared.*

*The caveat with this, is that any debts you obtained through fraud will still need to be repaid once the DRO comes to an end.

Full Governmental advice and information on DROs are available here.

However, some important things worth noting about DRO’s include:

Applying for a DRO must be done through an authorised debt adviser (known as an ‘approved intermediary’). They will make the application on your behalf to an officer (known as an official receiver) of the bankruptcy court.

You can find out more about applying for a DRO at:

The official receiver will determine whether or not you meet the criteria to be granted a DRO. In order to do this, they will look into your financial affairs before granting a DRO and if your circumstances change during the period of the DRO.

Assuming a DRO application is granted, it will usually last for a period of 12 months.

You will be notified by the official receiver who will explain the restrictions and duties involved with the DRO. They will also inform all listed creditors that the DRO has been made and that they can’t ask for repayments during that period of time.

No repayments can be made or requested during the period of the DRO, which is added to the Individual Insolvency Register and only removed 3 months after expiry of the DRO.

Whilst DRO’s do offer valuable breathing space, certain debts must still be paid, even when a DRO is in place. These include:

Mortgage payments, rent and all regular bills must still be paid as well.

There are restrictions regarding your financial activity under a DRO, as well as certain rules regarding how soon you would be able to apply for one in the future.

Finally, let’s look at a few Benefits and Considerations for DROs:

Benefits

Considerations

In most cases, you are discharged and outstanding debt cleared after a yearYour name will be added to the Insolvency Register
All debt is frozen during the time periodYour credit rating will be affected for 6 years
You are protected from legal action during the time periodThe process may impact your current and future employment
Contact from creditors will ceaseIf your circumstances change and you cannot fulfil your obligations, the arrangement may be revoked
You are not required to make monthly payments

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