Debt free in a set time (usually five years)
All interest and charges frozen
Stop all creditor harassment
Helping you out of serious debt problems
An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a legal process by which you can gain protection from your unsecured creditors by entering into a legally binding repayment agreement with them, which is then supervised by a licensed insolvency practitioner.
All debts included into an IVA will be looked to be cleared in a set time frame which is usually 5 years. Any outstanding balances at the end of the IVA agreement period will then be written off leaving you only with debts that couldn't be included in the IVA to pay(such as secured debts) or no debts at all.
How does an IVA work?
The arrangement is supervised by a licensed Insolvency Practitioner who is responsible for all negotiations with your creditors and for ensuring that you make all of the payments required under the terms of the arrangement. You are normally required to make regular monthly repayments, usually over a 5-year period, after which any balances remaining on your IVA included debts are written off. For the IVA to be accepted, there must be a vote of 75% or more of the creditors agreeing to the IVA proposal.
Write off some of your unsecured debts
Become debt free in a set time frame (usually 5 years)
Cease creditor harassment
All interest and charges will be frozen
Only unsecured debts can be included
Recorded on the IVA register
Will affect your credit rating
You may be required to release equity from your home
More details you should know about IVA's
Will an IVA affect my home?
If you are a homeowner, you will normally be required to release any equity you have in your property by taking out a remortgage or secured loan and paying this money to your creditors. Doing this may not result in favourable terms and possibly leave you with higher interest rates to pay. If you are unable to remortgage your property then your creditors may agree to your IVA being extended for an additional year instead of raising a lump sum from equity in your property.
Once your creditors have agreed an IVA, all interest and charges on your unsecured debts will be frozen. Your IVA advisor is required to review your financial situation every year and as a result you may be required to increase your monthly contributions into the IVA.
What else should I know about IVAs?
IVAs can only include unsecured debts meaning any secured debts will have to be continued to be paid by the debtor. IVAs are not advertised in the press. However, they will be recorded on the IVA register held by the DTI. As you are currently experiencing difficulties paying your debts, your credit rating is likely to have been affected already and entering any further IVA or Debt restructuring programmes could affect your rating further.
There are also likely to be restrictions on your expenditure. Even though you will be repaying your debts via an IVA, you will still have to adhere to certain restrictions on your expenditure. The guidelines on an IVA client's expenditure can be quite strict and you may find yourself having to cut back on costs that are deemed to be 'luxuries' such as extra television channels or excessive mobile phone bills. An advisor will be sure to point out areas you will need to cut back on as per the prescribed guidelines.
Your credit companies will want to register the missed payments that are not being paid, as a default of payment. This will almost certainly hinder you from obtaining further credit whilst the credit that you already have with them is being paid.
How Do I Qualify for an IVA?
- You must live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
- You must have a regular disposable income of £100 or more per month
- You must have unsecured debts of around £7,000 or more
- You must have 2 or more different creditors
There are other qualifying criteria to consider such as the type of income you receive, your property situation and you must be insolvent (meaning your debt is greater than your assets). An IVA advisor will go through all the qualifying criteria with you should you wish to proceed with an IVA or require further information.
How much will an IVA cost me?
There will be two sets of fees you will be required to pay - the nominees and supervisors fees. You will also be charged 2 monthly payments as a packaging and drafting fee. The nominees fee can vary from £500 to £2,500 depending on the amount of work involved and the number of creditors involved. The supervisors fee is a monthly fee to cover the work carried out to administer your IVA for the duration of the IVA period (typically 5 years).This fee will never be more than 15% of the monthly contribution you make and is included in the calculated monthly payment you make to your IVA. All fees will be presented to you before you sign any IVA agreement and will be incorporated into your monthly payment.