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IVA: Individual Voluntary Arrangement

What Is an IVA

The IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) was introduced by The Insolvency Act of 1986 as an alternative to bankruptcy which benefits both the debtor and the creditor. An IVA enables people facing financial difficulties to come to a formal agreement with their creditors rather than having to face bankruptcy.

The IVA represents an exciting new opportunity to those facing serious debt to both avoid bankruptcy and to make a fresh start. In this article, we'll answer the most frequently asked questions about the IVA.

What Are the Advantages of an IVA

  • With an IVA you only pay back an agreed percentage of your debts
  • While an IVA is in place, it is illegal for your creditors to harass you
  • With an IVA, interest on your loan is frozen which means that your debt won't keep growing
  • An IVA doesn't affect your professional status or ability to hold public office like bankruptcy does

What Are the Disadvantages of an IVA

  • If you don't stick to the terms of your IVA then the insolvency practitioner or your creditors can make you bankrupt.
  • If your circumstances alter which means you can no longer afford the payments, your IVA may end if the insolvency practitioner is unable to convince your creditors to accept a new agreement.

How Do I Set Up an IVA

  • With the help of an insolvency practitioner, you outline a debt repayment proposal which clearly demonstrates how it benefits your creditors and which shows what funds and assets are available for them.
  • Then you apply to the court for an interim order. If this order is granted then the creditor cannot petition for bankruptcy.
  • The creditors then meet to decide whether or not to accept your proposals.
  • If the creditors approve your proposals, they are binding on everyone who had notice of the meeting. If this happens, the insolvency practitioner takes charge of the assets which are administered for the creditors in line with the proposals.

    Recommended IVA Body:

    Clear Start is an independent free IVA helpline offering IVA help and advice to anyone in the UK.

    To contact an IVA adviser click here: IVA ADVICE or telephone freephone 0800 138 5445.

    Who Might Benefit From an IVA

    An IVA can help anyone experiencing debt problems- particularly those who own property which they would risk losing if they were to be made bankrupt.

    An IVA might be a good idea for you if you if:

    • You owe money to people or companies that wouldn't agree to an informal debt management arrangement
    • You've already tried an informal arrangement, but it's failed.

      Can I Get an IVA After I've Been Made Bankrupt

      The Enterprise Act of 2004 introduced new rules on how to get an IVA after you are made bankrupt.

      This involves applying for what's called a Fast Track IVA by presenting a proposal to the Official Receiver.

      If The Official Receiver thinks that your creditors would do better to accept an IVA rather make you bankrupt, he/she might agree to act as supervisor of the IVA. If the IVA is agreed by your creditors, your bankruptcy order will be annulled by the Official Receiver.

      Where Will My IVA Details Be Stored

      The record of your IVA is kept on a public register and anyone can search to see if someone has an IVA. Records of your IVA are also held credit reference agency files for up to six years.

      Details of your IVA will stay on the public register until it is completed. You can search the register by using the contact details below.

      The Individual Insolvency Register
      The Insolvency Service
      5th Floor, West Wing
      45-46 Stephenson Street
      Birmingham
      B2 4UP
      Tel: 0121 698 4000
      Fax: 0121 698 4406

      Mike Curry runs a free IVA and consumer debt helpline offering impartial advice to those suffering from serious debt.

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