We work with you to address your financial concerns.
We understand your financial situation is deeply personal. Not everyone’s priorities, needs, or demands are the same. We’re under no illusions – there’s no one-size-fits-all debt solution that will work for everybody. That’s why we take the time to fully understand your unique circumstances before suggesting any potential solutions.
So what different solutions do we offer?
Individual Voluntary Arrangement – IVA
An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a legally binding arrangement between you and your unsecured creditors whereby you pay one affordable monthly repayment over a defined and agreed period of time (usually 5 years). At the end of the agreement any unsecured debts which have not been repaid are legally ‘written off’.
To initially qualify for an IVA, you will usually need over £6,000 of unsecured debt from a minimum of two lenders such as credit cards, loans, catalogues etc and have a minimum surplus income of £80 per month to pay into the IVA.
Years Of Combined Experience
Unfortunately, some unsecured debts such as student loans, child support arrears, court fines, are not provable in an IVA and must continue to be paid in accordance with the credit agreement or other order/instructions. Where applicable, we will of course factor these payments into your assessment.
At the beginning of the process your income and expenditure will be assessed to calculate your monthly surplus income which will be your IVA payment. Your income and expenditure will also be reviewed at least once a year during the IVA to determine whether there have been any material changes to your situation and whether the monthly payments need to be adjusted to reflect for your new circumstances.
If you own a property, you will not be expected to sell your property under any circumstances during the IVA. Instead, subject to strict criteria (including valuation, Loan to Value % and general affordability etc) you would be required to review the equity position 6 months before the end of the IVA with a view of possibility releasing some equity. However, if there is little or no equity in the property, then the IVA will simply end after the ordinary agreed period. But if there is a lot of equity in the property and you cannot release it under the strict criteria, then the IVA may simply be extended for 1 extra year in lieu of equity release and you keep all of the equity in the property.
To propose an IVA to your creditors you will need to instruct/engage a licenced Insolvency Practitioner (IP). Our in-house Insolvency Practitioner for the Debt Resolution Service Limited is Jason Bowen who is licence to act in the UK by the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Scotland.
The IP and his team will help prepare your proposal and convene a meeting of your creditors where creditors will vote to decide whether to accept or reject your proposal. Neither you nor creditors are required to attend the meeting and all correspondence is typically done via telephone, email and post.
For the proposal to be approved 75% in value of voting creditors must vote in favour of the proposal. Therefore, it is possible for your IVA to be approved even if some creditors reject your proposal or do not vote at all.
In extreme circumstances where you face drastic recovery action/asset repossessions etc, it may be possible to apply for an Interim Order in court which will hold all further creditor action whilst your proposal is being considered by creditors. However, an Interim Order is not a standard process and would likely incur additional costs due to the involvement of solicitors and court applications fees.
Advantages of an IVA
- You receive full legal protection from any further creditor action
- All creditor contact with you will cease and instead be handled by the IP
- All interest and charges will be frozen
- You keep control and possession of your property, car, household assets etc
- You pay one affordable contribution each month during the IVA
- You have a set date when your debts will be cleared and you become debt free.
- If your situation worsens payment breaks can be provided or, with creditor consent, the IVA can be varied/changed to suit your new circumstances.
Disadvantages of an IVA
- An IVA requires the support of your unsecured creditors to be approved
- An IVA is a legally binding contract with limited flexibility
- If you do not comply with the agreed terms, the IVA could be terminated
- An IVA will stay on your credit report for 6 years and affect your credit rating
- You may find obtaining credit in future more difficult
- Your income and expenditure will be monitored at least once every year during the IVA
- If your situation improves you may be required to increase your monthly contributions
- If you earn substantial overtime or bonuses etc you may be required to pay a portion into the IVA
- If you are a homeowner you may be required to attempt to release equity or extend the IVA for 12 months in lieu of equity release
- Your details will be included on the Insolvency Register maintained by the Secretary of State
Protected Trust Deed – TD
A Protected Trust Deed is similar to an IVA but is only available to residents of Scotland. It’s a formal agreement between you and your creditors in which you will agree to give a contribution out of your income for a specified period. You will be doing so to repay part of what you owe them. This period is usually four years, after which you’ll be free of all unsecured debt.
Each case is individually assessed, and, like an IVA, you’ll usually need £6,000 of debt from two or more lenders.
Because you won’t be paying your previously agreed repayment amount, your credit rating will be impacted for six years. As well as this, a record of the arrangement will be on your file for six years.
Advantages of a Protected Trust Deed
- Will have a fixed term. You have a set date for when you’ll be debt-free.
- By keeping up with your payments you’ll no longer have the hassle of phone calls and letters from creditors.
- Will help you avoid sequestration (bankruptcy).
- Any debt left over at the end of the agreed term will be written off.
- Interest and charges will be frozen at the start of the agreement.
- One affordable monthly repayment.
Disadvantages of a Protected Trust Deed
- Your information will be added the Insolvency Register.
- Some debts cannot be included in a trust deed.
- If you are a homeowner and have equity in your property some release to creditors may be necessary.
- Applying for credit cards, loans, mortgages, or other unsecured debts will be affected for the duration of your repayment.
- A Trust Deed will show on your credit file for 6 years.
- Failure to comply may end in sequestration (bankruptcy).
- There will be annual monitoring of your income and expenditure. You might be asked to reduce any expenses that are considered excessive.
- Some debts cannot be included into the Trust Deed; any debts not included will remain outstanding.
Debt Management Plan – DMP
A Debt Management Plan is an informal arrangement between debt management providers and your creditors. They will look at your income and expenditures, agreeing on an affordable plan realistic to your financial situation.
Your debts will need to be repaid in full. (debt management fees may occur although there are also non fee charging companies). You will have the flexibility to change your repayment plan should your circumstances change or pay debts back quicker if your finances allow.
If you choose this option, a third-party debt management company will assess your situation and agree on a monthly payment. They will then communicate with the creditors on your behalf and arrange a repayment plan. We will always recommend you speak to The Money Advice Service for free & impartial money advice before requesting to be referred to a debt management company.
Advantages of a Debt Management Plan
- You can request interest and charges to be frozen, this option is not guaranteed. But this is down to their discretion.
- It’s flexible. One monthly affordable regular payment.
- After completing your plan, your unsecured debts will be cleared.
- You’ll only need to make one regular payment per month.
- In a lot of cases, your creditors will stop contacting you.
Disadvantages of a Debt Management Plan
- It isn’t a legally binding agreement and sometimes creditors may continue to contact you and interest and charges may not be frozen.
- Your credit rating will be impacted for six years or longer depending on the duration of the plan.
- Mortgages and ‘secured’ debts aren’t covered.
- You will have to pay your debts back in full – no amount will be written off.
- There may extra fees on top of your repayments.
- There is no protection for assets.
Debt Arrangement Scheme – DAS
A Debt Arrangement Scheme is like a debt management plan but is a formal arrangement; this is only available for Scottish residents. It allows you to repay your debts with one lower monthly payment. There will be a set time frame for your arrangement and during this time you’ll be protected from your creditors. You will pay your monthly payment to your DAS administrator and they will distribute this out to your creditors.
This option is only available through a debt payment program and you cannot be involved in any other formal insolvency procedure at the time of application. The time frame of your scheme can vary depending on the debts you have.
Advantages of a Debt Arrangement Scheme
- It is a legally binding agreement with creditors and supervised by the Scottish government.
- All interest, fees, and charges are frozen.
- Any of your personal assets are unaffected.
- One monthly payment that you can factor into future planning.
- You are relieved of any legal action from creditors.
- Upon completion, your included debts will be cleared.
- Most of the time, contact from creditors will stop as long as you’re making your monthly payments.
- You can amend your payment proposal if circumstances change and your creditors view them as fair.
Disadvantages of a Debt Arrangement Scheme
- It can be revoked if you do not comply with the conditions.
- Your credit rating will be impacted for six years or longer depending on the duration of the plan.
- No debt is written off, meaning a DAS can take significantly longer than other methods.
- You can’t apply directly; you need to find an approved money advisor to act for you.
- If you own your own home, creditors may still get an ‘inhibition’ to stop you from selling your home or getting a loan secured on it.
- Your information will be added to a DAS register.
Bankruptcy is a court order you can apply for if you have unmanageable debts you are unable to repay. It’s a form of insolvency where you agree to a set of terms and in return will see some relief from your debt. As part of the process, your assets will be distributed and sold amongst your creditors.
Usually, regardless of how much you still owe, at the end of twelve months, your bankruptcy is discharged. In some circumstances though, you may be required to pay into it for three years through an income payment order.
Bankruptcy requires a debt higher than £750. The process itself costs £680 but you can pay it in instalments to the Insolvency Service.
Advantages of Bankruptcy:
- Through the process, you are protected from legal action.
- In most cases, after twelve months, your outstanding debt is written off.
- Once the bankruptcy is completed, you’ll be free of any unsecured debts that were included.
- Most of the time, you’ll have automatic discharge after one year.
Disadvantages of Bankruptcy:
- A bankruptcy order may stay on your file for six years after bankruptcy, meaning your credit rating will be affected.
- You cannot use your bank account or credit cards during the process.
- Your details will be added to the Individual Insolvency Register.
- You remain on the Insolvency Register for three months after discharge.
- Your personal assets can be sold to repay creditors.
- You cannot act as a company director and you will need court permission to take any part of managing a limited company.
Debt Relief Order – DRO
A debt relief order can be an alternative to bankruptcy.
Requirements for a DRO are:
- Disposable income less than £50 per month.
- Personal assets below £1,000 and a car worth less than £1,000.
- Debts less than £20,000.
Unsecured debts, household debts, and finance all count towards a debt relief order.
It costs £90 for a DRO. You can pay in installments over six months, but this must be paid in full before your application is looked at.
Advantages of a DRO
- Often, you’ll be discharged after a year, at which point all debts included in your DRO will be cleared.
- All debt is frozen while in the DRO.
- You’re immune from legal action during the year and creditors cannot legally contact you.
- You do not need to make any payments into the DRO.
Disadvantages of a DRO
- Your name will be in the Insolvency Register until three months after you’re discharged.
- It will affect your credit rating for six years.
- The process can impact your current and future employment.
- If your circumstances change and you can afford to make repayments, or you fail to cooperate, the DRO may be revoked.
Get in touch with us
No one should have to deal with financial troubles alone. Whether you’re looking to resolve your financial struggle once and for all or just want to ease the burden by talking things through, we can offer you advice and guidance on how best to proceed. Get in touch today to take the first step towards a better financial future. See if you qualify.