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I am applying for an IVA

1. What is the process for entering into an IVA?
The first stage is the provision of initial advice. During this stage, we carry out an initial assessment of your financial position and provide advice on the options available, to assist you in finding a workable solution to your current financial difficulties.

The next stage is assisting you in the preparation of your proposal. We utilise the information and explanation provided by you to prepare the relevant paperwork, which is known as your proposal. This will be sent to you in draft, to review and agree or amend, as required, and any delay in returning this document will result in a delay in progressing to the next stage. Whilst we will assist in the preparation of the paperwork, ultimately, the contents of the proposal are your responsibility. A full and frank disclosure of your circumstances is required, in order to ensure your proposals are true and accurate.

Once you are happy with the contents of the proposal, and have returned the paperwork to us, you will enter the Nominee stage. The role of the Nominee is to carry out an independent evaluation of your proposals to confirm the IVA is not manifestly unfair to any party, including your creditors, and that the IVA has a reasonable prospect of being approved and being implemented. At this point, we will convene a meeting of creditors. We will discuss the outcome of the meeting at the appropriate time, and should creditors propose any modifications, we will explain them to you, in order to seek your approval. On acceptance of the IVA, the Insolvency Practitioner becomes the Supervisor whose role it is to ensure the IVA, as modified, is adhered to and monitors progress accordingly. In order for the Supervisor to monitor the progress of the IVA, you should keep us informed of any changes in your circumstances.

2. How long does it take?
We would usually expect the IVA to be approved within 6 to 8 weeks of the first discussion. This timeframe is dependent on you providing any information we request in a timely manner, and any queries raised by your creditors.
3. Can I keep my bank account?
Possibly. If your bank account has no credit facilities, and you have no other debt with your bank, such as a loan or a credit card, then you will be able to keep your bank account. If you have an overdraft, loan or credit card with your bank, then you will need to open a fresh account. Additionally some banks such as Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland may close your account, even if you have no debts with them, as a matter of policy. If in doubt you should speak to your bank BEFORE signing your proposals as you may need to open new banking facilities before proposing an IVA.
4. Will an IVA affect my mortgage?

An IVA should not affect your mortgage provided that you up to date with payments, have made arrangements to clear any arrears and make all future payments. Your proposal will be drafted to allow for all secured debts to be paid in full. 

However if you have a mortgage account that is linked to overdraft facilities, your current or savings account then the lender may withdraw that facility but they are likely to offer you another one on different terms, if you have any doubts or queries please contact us or your lender to discuss.

Please note, if you have a mortgage, including a buy to let mortgage, proposing an IVA could be a breach of the terms. Before proposing an IVA you should review the terms of any mortgage and discuss your concerns with your Nominee or lender. In most cases an IVA will not affect a domestic mortgage but if you have commercial mortgage you should discuss this with your lender.

5. Will an IVA affect my Professional Qualifications/ Licenses?
Many professional institutes or associations as a matter of course, expel members who are adjudged bankrupt. This could also mean the loss of any licenses/permits that you need to trade (e.g. a licence to sell alcohol). An IVA may not mean automatic expulsion or removal of licence but there may be restrictions put your licence. You should check with your professional body, association or licensing body as to its policy in this regard BEFORE signing your proposal.
6. If I am in an IVA, will I be able to hold a position of public office e.g. company director?
Unlike Bankruptcy, an IVA does not legally restrict your ability to hold positions such as a Justice of the Peace or Governor of a School. However, there could be restrictions for example in the case of a Company Director depending on what the Company’s Articles of Association states. If in doubt speak to your accountant.
7. Will an IVA affect my job?
In some circumstance it may be written into terms of employment that entering into an IVA results in dismissal, particularly if they worked in the area of insolvency. If in doubt you should check your contract of employment or speak to your HR department.
8. Will creditors accept my IVA?
Creditors are now well aware of IVA’s and each will have its own view on them. Whilst the IVA is in the process of being drafted, given our experience, it is likely that we will be aware of any potential issues and advise you of how such issues should be dealt with so as to give your IVA the best chance of success.
9. How will the fees in the IVA be paid?
The costs of an IVA (the Nominee Fee, Supervisors Fee and expenses) form part of the IVA, with creditors having the ultimate say on the level of the fees drawn. You will pay money into your IVA each month for the benefit of your creditors and the costs are deducted from these funds. Therefore the costs are paid for by the creditors unless you are paying your creditors back in full then the costs fees will be met by the extra contributions you make.
10. What happens if I cannot afford my monthly payments?
If for any reason you cannot make your agreed payments you should contact the supervisor immediately as missing IVA payments can lead to a breach of your IVA and ultimately its failure. This could in turn lead to you being made bankrupt, or being open to your debts being back in the hands of your creditors/ collection agents. Also if your IVA fails then your creditors can add interest and charges to the accounts from the date the IVA was entered into.

However the Supervisor may be able to come up with a solution which prevents your IVA failing, allows you make a new agreement with your creditors and maintains the protection of the IVA so it is crucial that you contact them at the first signs of difficulties

11. Who will know about my IVA? 
The IVA will added to your credit file, and that note will stay there for 6 years. The IVA would normally be a 5 year agreement (but this is subject to creditor approval), and during the IVA it is agreed that you will not apply for further credit. Once the IVA has been completed successfully, you will be able to apply for credit. As well as being added to the credit file your IVA will be noted on the Personal Insolvency Register at the Insolvency Service which is accessible by members of the public. 
12. If I enter an IVA will I be forced to sell my home? 
The No, unlike Bankruptcy, an IVA protects your home, and you will not be required to sell it. There will be an assessment made on value of your equity, and your creditors will expect you to attempt to release any equity that may be available. You will be allowed to keep some equity and you will should never be asked to repay more than you originally owed to your creditors (subject to costs of the IVA). to creditors. In the event you are unable to release the equity, the arrangement will be extended.  This will have been explained in detail but if you have any queries or concerns please contact us.
13. What if I win the lottery or get a big pay rise? 

It is a standard term of your proposals that if you receive any “windfalls”, such as winning the lottery or an inheritance whilst in an IVA that you pass over the net proceeds received to the Supervisor for the benefit of the creditors. However you should never be asked to pay more than you originally owed, plus costs, into the IVA. 

It will also be a term that the Supervisor will review your situation every year to ensure you are making the correct payment into the IVA. In the event that you are deemed to be able to increase the level of payments by virtue of having received a rise in income, then the level of payments will increase to a level agreed by you and the Supervisor. The supervisor will look at the complete picture including reasonable increases in expenses and will agree a figure with you that is fair to you and your creditors.

14. My spouse/partner has no debts but a good income. Will they have to contribute to my IVA? 

Your creditors will expect your partner to pay a proportion of the household expenses in the same percentage as your respective level of incomes, so that what’s left over is also in proportion to this. Your partner is not obliged to contribute to your IVA but creditors expect them to pay their share of all expenses.

15. What happens after my IVA finishes? 

Once you have successfully completed your IVA your will be debt free. You will receive a certificate of completion from your Supervisor, and your credit file will show your IVA as successfully completed. We do not alter the credit file this is up to your creditors.

16. What happens to joint debts? 

Any party with whom you jointly owe a debt (e.g. council tax with a co-tenant) will still be liable for the whole balance of the debt, therefore unless they make payments or have taken steps to address the debt such as proposing an IVA with you they will have to pay the debt themselves. The IVA does not free a person who is not party to it from liability to pay a debt.

17. One of my creditors is has petitioned for my bankruptcy, can an IVA stop it? 

The IVA may be able to stop the bankruptcy petition, however, any meeting of creditors will need to be held prior to the hearing.  In the event a meeting of creditors cannot be held before the hearing, you can either request an adjournment at the next hearing, or, you can apply for an Interim Order.

My IVA has been approved…

1. So your IVA is approved, what happens next? 

You will confirmation of the approval of your arrangement in the post following the meeting.  You should read the paperwork carefully, as this will confirm the modifications agreed at the meeting of creditors.  In the unlikely event the Chairman’s Report contains anything that you were not aware of at the meeting, you should contact us immediately to discuss this.  Once you have read the paperwork, you will need to sign and return it to us.

As your IVA has now been approved, and your creditors are now dealt with by ourselves, we recommend you open all correspondence from creditors.  If you notice any new debts that do not appear to be listed on your proposal, we recommend you contact us immediately, in order for us to notify the creditor.  We also recommend that you start to keep any bank statements and documents for your income in a filing system, as this will make it easier to provide the documents when requested.

2. What will my creditors do, once the IVA is approved? 

The paperwork will also be sent to your creditors to advise them of the approval of the arrangement.  Your creditors will then update their systems accordingly.  For the first six weeks, you may receive correspondence or phone calls from your creditors, whilst they are updating their systems.  If you receive any phone calls, we recommend you tell the creditor that you have entered into an IVA with ourselves.  Over the first six weeks, you should notice a dramatic reduction in contact, before it stops.

3. But my creditors are still contacting me… 

After the first six weeks, the collection calls and letters should have stopped.  Creditors are legally obliged to issue default notices and annual notices of arrears, under the Consumer Credit Act, to advise you that you have defaulted on the terms of the credit agreement, and that you are in arrears.  No further action is required with these, and you should retain these for your records.  If you receive any correspondence or phone calls demanding payment or threatening legal action, please email with a copy of the correspondence, or post it to our office.  We will then contact the creditor directly.

4. I have received a letter asking me to provide some documents for an annual income and expenditure review.  What should I do? 

Once a year, you are required to an updated list of your income and expenditure, and documents to support your income.  We will write to you two months before the anniversary of your arrangement to remind you, and provide you with an income and expenditure list.  The income and expenditure list will be based on the one disclosed to your creditors in your proposal, and you should update it with any changes.

On our letter, we will list the documents that are usually relevant for the review.  Please note, this is not an exhaustive list, and is only used to provide examples of the documents we usually require.  You should only look to provide the documents that are relevant for your circumstances.  For example, if you are employed with no tax credits or any other benefits, you should just provide a copy of your last three months wage slips and most recent P60.  If you are receiving pension income and pension credits, you should provide a copy of the P60’s from your pension income, and the most recent pension credit award letter.  

You can either send these documents in the post or email them to .

If there are any problems with providing the documents, or you require more time, please contact us.

Once we have received your documents, we will review them to make sure that we have all of the documents we require.  We will then write to you to confirm we have received the required documents, or if any further information is required, we will contact you to request the information that is required.  If you do not receive correspondence from us within 14 days of sending the documentation, we recommend you contact us, as the documents may not have reached us through the post or via email.

Within a month of the anniversary of your arrangement, we will review the documents, and send you the outcome of the review.  If you have any queries regarding the review, please contact us to discuss them.

The Legal Stuff…

1. How do I complain? 

If at any time you are unhappy with the any aspect of your IVA you should contact our office to discuss your concerns. If your concerns can not be addressed then you should put them in writing to Jonathan Gribble at our registered office. He will investigate your complaint and provide a written response within 14 days.  If you are still unhappy with the response you should then write with your further concerns to James Kaye or Nick Morgan at the same address. They will investigate your complaint and Jonathan’s response and provide a response within 14 days.

In the unlikely event that you are still not satisfied with the response you should then contact the Insolvency Service at The Insolvency Service, IP Complaints, 3rd Floor, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DA who will investigate the matter.

2. What about that privacy stuff? 

A copy of our privacy notice can be found at here.

3. What about your disclosure requirements under the Provision of Services Regulations 2009? 

In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is Barbican Protect Limited, King’s House, 42 King Street West, Manchester, M3 2NU The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim brought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.