Debt Solutions

IVA         DMP         DRO         Bankruptcy         Protected Trust Deed         DAS         MAP         Sequestrian



An Individual Voluntary Arrangement is quick and easy to set up. You make one affordable monthly payment to a qualified legal professional, who then distributes the payments to your creditors. The amount each of your creditors receives is according to the agreed amounts stipulated in your IVA proposal that we put together on your behalf. All interest and charges will be frozen to 0% and creditors will be prohibited from demanding additional payments.

You will make your monthly agreed payment for 60 months, and at the end of the term any debt outstanding that you still owe your creditors is written off. This can be up to 90% of your original overall debt. You will be completely debt free in 5 years!

Once in an IVA, your creditors will cease any chasing phone calls and correspondence and threats of further action.


You can apply for an IVA if:

  • You are struggling with over £5000 of debt
  • Have 2 or more creditors
  • Are employed, self-employed or are in receipt of 2 or more benefits every month

Debts that can be Included:

  • Unsecured Loans
  • Payday Loans
  • Doorstop Loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Store Cards
  • Catalogues
  • Debt Collection Agencies
  • Council Tax Bills
  • Utility Companies Debt
  • Benefits Overpayments, HMRC and DWP
  • HP For example Car Finance or Brighthouse (as long as you no longer have the vehicle or Items)

Debts that cannot be Included:

  • Court Fines
  • CSA Arrears
  • Debt arising from Fraud
  • Secured Debt
  • Current Mortgage
  • Charging Orders
  • HP Agreements (where you currently have the vehicle or items)
  • Log Book Loans
  • Guarantor Loans (where you are not the guarantor)

IVA example

This example shows how your current monthly payments could reduce substantially by choosing an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) to manage your unsecured debt.

*Example based on 60 monthly repayments. Subject to Creditor acceptance. Monthly payment subject to individual circumstances. Credit Rating may be affected.


  • Legal Protection – The IVA offers you legal protection from your included creditors.
  • Debt Written Off – Up to 90% of your debt can be written off.
  • Credit File –  Clean credit file 12 months after IVA completes
  • There are no upfront fees.
  • An IVA usually has a fixed term of 60 months, or 5 years, and at the end of the arrangement, any outstanding balances on included debts will be written off.
  • Interest and charges on included debts will be frozen.
  • The payment you make into an IVA is based on your income and expenditure, so should always be affordable to you.
  • Security – One of the key benefits of an IVA is that the individual should not have to sell their home. This is because any mortgage repayments are included in the essential expenditure calculations.


A Debt Management Plan is an agreement between you and your creditors to pay off your debts, it is a flexible arrangement and can be altered at any time, assets should be safe outside of the plan.  The arrangement tends to run over a long period of time, whereby you make a single, regular (often monthly) payment to a licensed debt management company and they then distribute the money to creditors on your behalf. Debt management plans are usually used when you have debt problems but will be able to make repayments in a few months.

Unless stated in the agreement, your creditors can still:

  • Ask you to pay your full debt at a later date
  • Take action to recover their money even if you keep up your payments


  • Interest and charges on included debts will be frozen.
  • The payment you make into an IVA is based on your income and expenditure, so should always be affordable to you.
  • Security – One of the key benefits of an IVA is that the individual should not have to sell their home. This is because any mortgage repayments are included in the essential expenditure calculations.


DRO can be a low cost alternative to bankruptcy, it is only available if you owe less than £20,000 if you live in England or Wales or less than £15,000 in Northern Ireland and you have £50 or less spare each month after paying your household bills. You don’t pay anything towards your debts for 12 months, if your situation remains the same, the debts will be written off. Debt relief orders are not available if you live in Scotland. In Scotland, a Minimal Assets Process (MAP) bankruptcy is a similar solution, but it’s important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

While a DRO is in force you don’t have to make payments towards debts included in your DRO, you are still responsible for paying off any that aren’t included in the DRO – this is because DRO’s don’t cover all debts.
DROs are specifically designed for people with few assets and a relatively low level of debt.

To apply for a DRO there’s a fee of £90. If you can’t afford to pay the fee you may be able to get help towards the cost from some charities. You have to go to a DRO adviser, also called an approved intermediary – you cannot submit your own application.

It is a criminal offence to falsify any information on a DRO


  • A Debt Relief Order is a fast track, formal insolvency solution. The main benefit for you is that you will get legal protection from your creditors, so they cannot contact you for payment.
  • All debts included in a DRO are cleared after one year. Any debts not included will remain outstanding.
  • A Debt Relief Order costs only £90, which is cheaper than petitioning for bankruptcy. This £90 can also be paid in instalments.
  • During the 12 months the DRO is in place, you will not be required to make any payments towards the included debts.
  • Interest and charges relating to debts included in a DRO will be frozen for the 12 months the DRO is active.


If you have a debt problem, one of your options for sorting it out might be Bankruptcy. You can apply for Bankruptcy if you can’t pay back your debts. As well as applying for bankruptcy yourself, someone else you owe money to (a creditor) can apply to make you bankrupt, even if you don’t want them to. For a creditor to make you bankrupt, you must owe at least £5,000.

There’s no minimum amount of debt required to go bankrupt. If the value of your unsecured debt is greater than the value of the belongings you own, such as property or vehicles, it may be an option for you. If you can afford to make a payment, you will be asked to do so for up to 3 years. Bankruptcy will adversely affect your credit rating and will remain on your credit file for 6 years from the day you are declared bankrupt.


  • Generally it’s a quick process to commence through a court procedure, you are usually discharged after 12 months.
  • Once your bankruptcy is discharged, all included debts are written off.
  • You can pay the fee online in instalments, and your bankruptcy application will begin once your fee has been paid in full
  • Bankruptcy will prevent your creditors from taking or continuing with any legal action against you to recover the debts included in your bankruptcy.
  • All interest and charges will be frozen.

protected trust deed (scottish residents only)

A Trust Deed is a formal and legally binding arrangement between an individual and their Creditors which lasts for a period of 4 years. A Trust Deed is only available to individuals who are residents of Scotland, and have lived in Scotland for at least six months prior to their application.

It is a legal agreement which can only be carried out through a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. A Trust Deed is entered into when the value of debt is significant and the individual is finding it increasingly difficult to pay their Creditors. Any debts remaining at the end of the normal four-year Trust Deed period, subject to exception, are effectively written off by Creditors. If the proposal is accepted, then the Trust Deed becomes a Protected Trust Deed and creditors can no longer take legal action to recover their debts and are bound by the terms of the Trust Deed.

Once all payments have been made, normally over 48 months, and all terms have been complied with, a discharge letter will be issued. At this point the individual will no longer be liable to repay their debts that were included in the Trust Deed. A Trust Deed is a legally binding contract therefore the client cannot cancel their agreement once they have signed the Trust Deed.


  • A PTD offers you legal protection from your included creditors.
  • A PTD usually has a fixed term of 4 years, and at the end of the arrangement, any outstanding balances on included debts will be written off.
  • The payment you make into a PTD is based on your income and expenditure, so should always be affordable to you.
  • There are no upfront fees. Though Trustee’s fees are due, these are included in your agreed monthly payments.
  • Interest and charges on included debts will be frozen and creditors cannot legally contact you about payment, they can only send you your regular statements.

(scottish residents only)

A DAS is a government run debt management tool which allows you to repay your debts through a debt payment programme. This will allow you to pay off your debts over an extended period of time while giving protection from the creditors taking action against you to recover the debts.

If approved it will freeze all interest, fees and charges on the debts included. Creditors cannot legally contact you about payment, they can only send you your regular statements. The payments you make into a DAS are based on your income and expenditure, so should always be affordable to you.

You can only make one application a year, so if your DAS application is rejected, you will have to find an alternative solution or wait 12 months before you can reapply. This is to stop people abusing the DAS system, for example to delay creditor legal action. A DAS is a formal insolvency process and a matter of public record, so it is a serious matter and the final decision to pursue this would need to be yours.

(Scottish residents only)

A Minimal Asset Process (MAP) bankruptcy gives you a fresh start by writing off debts that you can’t repay within a reasonable time. It’s aimed at people with a low income and not many assets, and is cheaper and more straightforward than sequestration bankruptcy. To apply for MAP you need to pay a fee of £90. The full amount needs to be paid and there are no exemptions or reductions available.

We can help you work out if MAP is the best option for you. If it is, we’ll ask you to send us details of your income and debts. We’ll check all your paperwork and provide all the support you need.

You should also be aware that with MAP bankruptcy your details will be added to a public register, called the Register of Insolvencies (ROI), for a period of five years.

(scottish residents only)

Bankruptcy (known legally as ‘sequestration’ in Scotland) is a way of dealing with debts that you cannot pay. While you are bankrupt any assets that you have might be used to pay off your debts. After a period of time (usually one year), most of your outstanding debts are written off and you can make a fresh start. You can apply for bankruptcy yourself or a creditor can apply to make you bankrupt. An application for sequestration costs £200.

With sequestration, the trustee has a responsibility to investigate whether assets, including any property, should be sold to raise funds for creditors. Depending on your circumstances you may be required to make a contribution for a period of four years. Any assets of value which may include the equity in your home have to be realised. Provided you co-operate fully, the Accountant in Bankruptcy may grant their discharge at the end of one year. Therefore, you have a duty to continue to co-operate with your Trustee and to pay a contribution for the remainder of the sequestration period.



* There are some debt solutions where you can write off up to 90% of your overall unsecured debt. This is dependent on your personal circumstances and the ability to make your repayments within the terms set by your creditors. Many factors will be taken in to consideration to assess whether the solution is the right one for you. All solutions are subject to acceptance and eligibility. If you do enter in to a solution it is likely that your ability to obtain credit will be affected for a minimum of 6 years, even if the solution lasts for less.

The Money Advice Service is an impartial service set up by the Government to help people manage their money. To find out more about free debt advice, debt counselling, debt adjustment and credit information services, visit

The following information about dealing with creditors is available from the Government – England & Wales   Northern Ireland    Scotland

On completion of our form one of our debt specialist partners will contact you using the information that you have provided on our form and therefore we will possibly receive compensation for this. Our partners are all authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and comply with their rules and principles of business. A Debt Adviser will contact you by phone to discuss your options in more detail. Initial advice is always free, however our partners may charge for on-going services and these are made clear by the Adviser and also in the documentation you receive. DIS does not offer advice.

DIS uses reasonable care to ensure that the information appearing on this website is up to date and accurate. Whilst DIS takes precautions to prevent the occurrence of errors and omissions, the user of this website should not take the accuracy of the information for granted. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements. Your statutory rights are not affected by this disclaimer.

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