An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (or IVA), is a fixed term form of debt help, consisting of a repayment plan, allowing those with serious debt problems the opportunity to settle the outstanding balances to their creditors.
IVAs are available to all people who live in Northern Ireland, England or Wales, who are insolvent and are seeking to protect themselves and their assets from the threat of legal action and bankruptcy.
Once an IVA has been approved by creditors they are legally obligated to cease all legal action and freeze all interest or late payment charges.
With a predetermined ‘fixed’ repayment period (usually 60 months), an IVA enables the applicant to make payments based on affordability rather than their contractual obligations. However if you have access to third party funds, an IVA can be completed within 6 months.
On successful completion of the IVA, the creditors are legally obliged to write-off any outstanding debt, leaving the applicant completely free of all the debts included in the IVA.
Anyone who lives in Northern Ireland, England or Wales, or has done so within the last 6 months can apply for an IVA (in Scotland it is a Protected Trust Deed).
Usually, applicants should have unsecured debts amounting to £10,000 or more, although there is no minimum debt level required to qualify for an IVA.
Furthermore, whilst it isn’t a requirement for the applicant to have missed any of their contractual debt repayments, the prospects of doing so should be imminent.
Applicants can be employed or self-employed and can be homeowners or tenants.
Yes, an IVA will be noted on your credit rating for 6 years.
After undertaking an IVA, you will be required to give up all of your current credit (e.g. credit cards and store cards). However, you will be allowed to use pre-paid cards. During the IVA you must not apply for any further credit, however once the IVA has been successfully completed, the restriction is lifted and you can begin the process of rebuilding your credit rating.
An IVA doesn’t blacklist your credit file for ever. Once it is complete, your credit rating can, and should, repair fairly quickly.
Ensure that an IVA is the right debt help solution for you by getting in contact with us.
We offer a range of financial solutions and if we feel something might be a better option, we’ll run through this with you before moving on to an IVA.
If we believe that an IVA is the most suitable solution for you, and you are happy to proceed, we’ll set up a meeting with our experienced Insolvency Practitioner who will help you to draw up an IVA proposal. This shows your lenders how your IVA would work.
If this proposal is accepted by at least 75% (by debt value) of voting lenders, then your IVA can begin. If your application is unsuccessful, then we will discuss other options with you.
The majority of IVAs last for 5 or 6 years, but depending on your circumstances, an IVA could take longer or in cases with third party funds, less than this.
Although 5 years is the standard length of time for an IVA, it is not uncommon for an IVA to last 6 years.
Yes, unlike Bankruptcy, an IVA protects property and the equity held within it. As a result, an IVA applicant will not be required to sell their home.
Instead, creditors will demand that you try to release any equity at a pre-arranged time during the IVA term.
Fortunately, creditors’ expectations will be limited by the IVA protocol ensuring they can’t force you to sell your home if you can’t release equity from it.
Instead the IVA will be extended for 12 months in lieu of any equity that can’t be released.
Yes, you can avail of our debt help services and enter an IVA if you are currently unemployed.
However, it’s likely that other surrounding factors will determine whether an IVA is the most suitable solution for you, such as your employment prospects, the amount you can afford to repay and the level of your debt.
We think it’s best to have a chat with one of our professional debt advisers so that you can fully understand your choices and the obligations that come with an IVA, before you commit yourself.
Once you have successfully completed your IVA you will be free from all the debts included within the IVA.
You will receive a certificate of completion from your Insolvency Practitioner and your credit file will show your IVA as ‘satisfied’.
You will then be able to move forward, unencumbered by the weight of your previous debts.