Helping you to understand a Debt Relief Order and if it is Right for your Circumstances Helping you to understand a Debt Relief Order and if it is Right for your Circumstances
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  • What is a Debt Relief order (DRO) and is it right for you?

What is a Debt Relief order (DRO) and is it right for you?




A debt relief order is a way to have debts written off if you have a low level of debt and few assets. 

It is an alternative to Bankruptcy and if you owe less than £20,000 it is an option available to those living in Northern Ireland, England and Wales. You do not pay anything towards your debts for 12 months and thereafter they are written off. Creditors cannot pursue you for the debts during the 1-month period and although a DRO is a formal debt solution there is no need to appear in court. 

Like any debt solution there are several factors which will determine if a DRO is the correct choice for your needs including:

  • You must owe less than £20,000.
  • You must not have assets worth more than £1,000.
  • You must have less than £50 per month in surplus income. 

A debt relief order will freeze your debt repayments and the interest on them for 12 months. If your financial situation hasn’t improved by the end of this period, the debts included in the DRO are written off.

Like most other debt solutions, there are several types of debt which cannot be included in a DRO:

  • Student Loans 
  • Magistrates' court fines
  • Debts to the child maintenance service 
  • Social fund loans
  • Criminal fines (including debt incurred under the Proceeds of Crime Act)
  • Claims against you for damage or personal injury
  • TV Licence arrears

The debt relief order will stay on your credit file for six years after it was approved, this may make applying for new credit during this time more difficult. 

Before taking any action, it is always best to get expert help and advice on every option potentially available to you for dealing with your unmanageable debt. If your credit cards, loans and store card debt has reached uncontrollable levels take our free online consultation to see if you can get help with your debt today. Alternatively, call us on 02890 393 626 or email us and book a personal consultation in our Belfast offices.

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