How To Apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

How To Apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

Feeling overwhelmed by your debts? An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) could be your lifeline. It's a formal agreement that lets you manage your debts in a way that's more manageable for you.

Applying for an IVA isn't a process you have to navigate alone. With the help of an authorised Insolvency Practitioner (IP) and an IVA Helpline, you'll be able to prepare your IVA proposal and send it to your creditors. It's a solution that, if accepted, can provide much-needed relief from the weight of your financial obligations.

Remember, it's vital to understand the ins and outs of an IVA before you apply. It's not suitable for everyone, so seeking advice from a free and independent debt advice organisation can be a great first step.

What is an IVA?

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a formal debt solution you might consider if you're struggling with looming financial debt. An IVA proposes a structured way to manage and repay your debts, ensuring less stress for you compared to chaotic debt scenarios. It's legally binding, which means once it's set up, creditors can't continue to chase you for repayments. On top of that, interest and charges on your debts get frozen once the IVA is established.

An IVA requires careful consideration and understanding. Always ask whether the IVA follows the protocol. The IVA protocol provides a standard procedure that most IPs adopt. If your insolvency practitioner (IP) says your case is complex, doesn't match standard protocol, dig deeper. Understand the reasons and implications before taking any steps.

If you're a homeowner, know this well: IVAs may impact your home. IPs generally include an equity clause notably in the fifth year of your IVA, which might mean obtaining a secured loan or remortgaging to pay back some of the debt. If that's not feasible, selling your home might be a suggestion. It might seem scary, but if you're following the protocol, there are safeguards in place, so don't panic!

Getting the help of an authorised Insolvency Practitioner (IP) is golden. IPs are efficient in drafting the IVA proposal based on your circumstances and will negotiate the terms of your IVA with your creditors.

In essence, an IVA is a ray of hope when tidal waves of debt knock at your door. Please remember to always seek assistance from independent debt advice organisations before jumping into any decisions. It's crucial to assess your eligibility, comprehend how an IVA gets set up and know its advantages and disadvantages first.

Benefits of applying for an IVA

When you're saddled with overwhelming debts, juggling payments can seem like a never-ending cycle. One solution you might consider is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). So, let's delve into the perks it brings along to give you a breather in an otherwise strenuous situation.

To begin with, an IVA offers a structured way to deal with your debts. Rather than having multiple, potentially unmanageable payments to different creditors, an IVA consolidates these into one affordable monthly repayment. This takes the sting out of logistically managing various payment dates and amounts.

Unlike bankruptcy where your financial affairs are made public, an IVA maintains a certain level of privacy allowing you to avoid social stigma associated with financial difficulties. Moreover, while bankruptcy discharges after 12 months, an IVA lasts either 60 or 72 months, thus allowing a softer landing as you transition back to financial well-being.

When you apply for an IVA, you will enjoy the benefit of no upfront application costs. On the other hand, starting bankruptcy proceedings will set you back £680 upfront. This, coupled with potential additional fees in bankruptcy, makes an IVA a more pocket-friendly option for many.

Let's not forget about the potential debt write-off. The amount that's written off relies solely on your personal circumstances but can significantly reduce your burden compared to the possible outcomes in bankruptcy.

The benefits don't stop there. An essential factor is that an IVA can freeze interest rates and charges on your debt, thereby stopping your financial situation from worsening due to escalating costs. It can also stop creditors from taking further actions, giving you a sense of security and stability during these trying times.

Remember that it's not just about facing this alone. An Insolvency Practitioner will be right there to assist along this path, preparing the IVA proposal, handling your creditors, and guiding you every step of the way.

Still, the IVA route may not be suitable for everyone. An individual's personal situation heavily influences the decision. Going with an IVA requires careful consideration and an understanding of its implications.

You should also keep in mind that an IVA does affect your credit rating, which can impact your financial options in the future. However, with the prospect of writing off unaffordable debt, lower monthly repayments, and the cessation of spiralling interest charges, these negatives might be deemed a worthy trade-off.

How to find an authorised Insolvency Practitioner (IP)

Searching for an accredited Insolvency Practitioner (IP) isn't as daunting as it might first appear. The Insolvency Service offers a handy searchable directory of IPs. By merely inputting find an insolvency practitioner into their pivotal search bar, you can access the contact details of each IP, along with the details of their authorising body.

However, be cautious of third parties promising to connect you to an IP for a fee; there's really significant merit in directly contacting an IP. A noteworthy point to mention is that a reputable IP will never charge upfront fees.

Understanding an IP's terms and conditions are paramount before you agree to use their services. Make certain you're aware of any application costs involved. IVA charges are an unavoidable reality of securing an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). Typical fees for setting up and supervising an IVA can be in the region of £4000. Take a firm grip on understanding what these costs cover.

An advantageous way to approach this is to compare different IPs, their respective services, and their associated fees. It's ideal to invest due diligence in finding an IP that aligns with your financial circumstances and the specific needs of your IVA.

Remember, an IVA can represent an effective method of managing one's debts. Yet, it's essential to remember they can also impact one's credit rating. With the search for an IP effectively supporting your journey, the structure, privacy, and potential for debt write-off an IVA presents may often outweigh such concerns. Remember, your IP is your debt specialist and guide for the duration of the IVA.

Sharpen your financial literacy, discover your debt consolidation aid, but avoid rushing the process. A meticulously chosen IP can shapeshift your financial landscape - for the better.

Understanding the process of applying for an IVA

Applying for an IVA is no walk in the park. It's a comprehensive process involving multiple stages, each requiring your active role. And bear in mind, your creditors are not guaranteed to approve your proposed IVA and if that happens, you may need to explore other options such as bankruptcy or a debt management plan.

Initially, your task is to select an authorised Insolvency Practitioner (IP). This debt specialist is your guide and counselor throughout the entire IVA duration. Once you've chosen your IP, they will review your financial situation in-depth and assess your debts. Using their expertise, your IP can determine whether an IVA is the right choice for your circumstances or not based on a high likelihood of it being accepted.

A critical stage during your IVA application is proposing terms to your creditors. Sometimes, creditors may call for changes to the terms of the IVA, like higher monthly repayments or the inclusion of assets you don't want to lose. Alternatively, they might demand payments over a longer duration. However, your agreement is vital before these modifications can be implemented.

In the event your IVA is agreed upon, your IP will supervise the proceedings and ensure you're making all the required payments. It's important to note that an IVA will have an impact on your credit rating, but the overall benefits may just tip the scale favourably in many situations.

Don't forget, before signing any agreement or committing to an Insolvency Practitioner, understand their terms and conditions meticulously. Make sure to handle this process carefully, grasp the implications of an IVA, and pick an IP that aligns with your financial circumstances and the unique requirements of your possible IVA. The road to an IVA can be long and complex, but with the proper guidance of your IP, you can navigate it effectively. This way, you can shape your financial landscape optimally for your future.

Preparing your IVA proposal

Stepping into the planning phase of your IVA proposal, understanding your financial position is the first crucial element. You'll spend about 20-30 minutes discussing your debts and your overall financial standing. Getting this straight helps decipher the most practical repayment scheme that sits comfortably within your means.

Beyond just being a document, your IVA proposal is a transparent breakdown of your financial capabilities and commitments. And for that, it's paramount to work with a competent Insolvency Practitioner (IP). Together, you prepare an IVA proposal that not only consolidates your debts into a single, manageable entity but also comes with the bonanza of ceasing the onslaught of interest on your outstanding obligations.

The costs for establishing your IVA proposal fall under the umbrella term of a Nominee’s Fee - usually starting from £1000. This fee encompasses everything from your current financial assessment, IP’s professional guidance to cranking out administrative tasks. It's essential to know that these costs aren't a separate burden but smartly incorporated within your affordable monthly remittance. A typical fee breakdown portrays the following trend:

Fee Type

Standard Fee

Nominee's Fee


Supervisor's Fee

15%-20% of payments made


£1200 per case

Armed with an IP, you marshal your way towards stopping the interest ticking on your debt. Not only that, you also afford yourself the luxury of halting creditor action, meaning a cessation to those unnerving letters and disrespectful visits by bailiffs.

Your IVA remittance rests on your affordability rather than the sum of your debts. For example, your monthly repayments could start from a reasonably low figure of £110. Such well-thought-out arrangements can save you from the financial strain while keeping the contentment of your creditors in check.

Remember, an IVA isn't a static proposition. It's dynamic, moulding to your changing financial circumstances. So it's safe to say that well-drafted IVA proposal plays a cornerstone role in your journey to financial healing. Making your proposal robust, flexible, and more importantly, representative of your financial situation, sets up your financial landscape for the foreseeable future.

Sending your IVA proposal to creditors

Once you've spotlighted an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) and crafted your Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) proposal, the next step is to present it to your creditors. Important to note, an IVA proposal can be put forward without an interim order. Understandably, this could minimise your upfront costs, however, your creditors retain the right to take enforcement action until the IVA is agreed.

Your Insolvency Practitioner's Role

Your chosen IP takes on several responsibilities during this stage. They send your IVA proposal to all your creditors and arrange a formal meeting known as the creditors' meeting. Please ensure to validate with your IP that all your creditors have been duly notified. If any remain unnoticed before the IVA is agreed, they can claim the amount they would have received, had they been included in the IVA from the start.

The Creditors' Meeting

During the meeting, creditors get to vote on your IVA proposal. To note, many creditors tend to send their vote to the IP and abstain from actually attending the meeting. Acceptance of your IVA proposal requires at least 75% by value of voting. This implies that the agreement must come from creditors holding at least 75% of your total debt. It's significant to remember that this ratio relates to the value of your debt and not the number of creditors.

Costs and Payment Protection

Let's touch on costs at this stage. You should expect to pay fees to your IP for setting up and managing your IVA. These fees, which can be £4000 or more, are built into the monthly payment you've agreed to make to your creditors. Some IPs might ask for an upfront fee even before the IVA proposal is sent out. So, if your proposal is rejected by your creditors, you might find yourself out of pocket to the tune of the paid IP fees.

Furthermore, it's common for IPs to request some form of payment protection insurance to safeguard against unfortunate circumstances such as unemployment or death. Your IP should detail any arranged insurance cover and its related costs. This expense is usually incorporated into your initial fees payable to the IP.

As you navigate these stages, remember your IP's role as a debt specialist and guide. Do your due diligence and find a partner who garners your trust and confidence, helping you realise a debt-free future.

Important things to consider before applying for an IVA

Before delving into an IVA, you must prove to your creditors that your current monthly payments surpass your grasp and your debt exceeds the value of your assets—essentially, the stuff you own.

Considering an IVA demands careful planning. Sound advice from a FCA authorised debt adviser takes precedence over hasty decisions. To seek guidance, you can look for trusted debt advisers on reputable platforms such as the Financial Services Register.

When considering an IVA, it's impossible to bypass the assistance of an Insolvency Practitioner (IP). After discussing your situation with a reliable debt adviser, choosing an IP who fits your needs is your next step. If considered a suitable candidate for an IVA by your debt adviser, they'll provide you a comprehensive guide for your IVA application.

Carefully selecting what to include and what to exclude from your IVA agreement is a crucial part of the process. Certain assets, or belongings, could be asked to be sold by the creditors, but they'll need your green light for it. Not every personal possession falls under what might be available to sell; domestic and essential items are off-limits by law. Such items one might deem 'essential' include gadgets like computers and phones; all types of clothes; home furnishings; books; kitchen appliances or white goods; medical aids; and all items that your children use.

Beyond this, there are assets that you must disclose to your IP. Your disclosed assets equip your IP and creditors to make informed decisions regarding the payments that you can actually afford. Some examples of such assets include shares, insurance policies, endowments, ISAs, and other investments.

Remember, negotiating terms is a common practice in IVAs. It doesn't always go ahead as smoothly as planned. If the creditors owed the highest amount oppose the proposal, you might find your IVA application hitting a roadblock.

Navigating an IVA successfully involves understanding and complying with every stipulation. Make informed decisions, seek expert advice, and move forward confidently – your path to a debt-free future commences here.

Key Takeaways

  • An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a formal debt solution, providing a structured way for managing and repaying debts.

  • It's crucial to understand the ins and outs of an IVA before applying. Independent debt advice organisations can provide valuable guidance.

  • An IVA can impact your home, therefore understanding your IVA's ins and outs, including its possible effects on your home, is vital.

  • It's crucial to engage an authorised Insolvency Practitioner (IP) in the process, who will determine the most suitable terms based on your specific financial circumstances.

  • Besides consolidating debts into one affordable payment, IVAs can also stop accruing interest on your debt, freeze charges, and halt creditors' actions.

  • The IB or Insolvency Service directory can provide contacts to IPs directly, without going through a third party charging additional fees.

  • Understanding an IP's terms and conditions and potential costs are imperative before you agree to use their services.

  • An IVA application involves multiple stages with the involvement of an IP, the proposal, and communication with creditors. It's important to evaluate all factors before proceeding.

  • The cost of preparing an IVA proposal, termed 'Nominee’s Fee', is usually incorporated within your affordable monthly payments.

  • In the event of presenting the IVA proposal to your creditors, your IP arranges a formal meeting known as the creditors' meeting. The acceptance of your IVA proposal requires at least 75% by value of voting.

  • A carefully considered IVA, with sound advice from an FCA authorised debt adviser and IP, can substantially lighten your debt burden and set you on a path to a brighter financial future.


So, you've taken the first steps towards a debt-free future. Remember, it's essential to prove your financial struggles to your creditors, showing that your debts outweigh your assets. Don't forget to seek advice from a trusted debt adviser and choose an authorised Insolvency Practitioner. It's crucial to be strategic about what you include in your IVA agreement and be open about your assets. Don't shy away from negotiating terms, but be prepared for potential resistance from major creditors. Stick to all the rules laid down in the agreement and always lean on expert advice. Your journey to financial freedom starts with a well-planned IVA application.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for an IVA?

To apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), you need to gather details regarding your debts and payment capabilities. This includes evidence of income such as payslips, benefits letters or recent bank statements, and proof of any savings, again typically represented by recent bank statements.

How do I qualify for an IVA?

To qualify for an IVA, you must reside in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and be insolvent. Factors such as the value and number of your debts, the offer you can make to your creditors, affordability of IVA payments, and proof of your financial situation also come into play.

How much debt can an IVA write off?

Some organisations may claim an IVA can write off up to 90% of your debt. However, in most cases an IVA will realistically write off between 50% and 60% of an average debt. If your total debt is close to the typical average of just under £60,000, anticipate a reduction of your financial obligations to between £25,000 and £30,000.

What actions does an IVA limit?

An IVA prevents your creditors from pursuing any further action against you for your debts. This includes litigation and other forms of collections efforts.

How much does it cost to initiate an IVA?

Setting up an IVA incurs a cost, typically around £5,000 on average. These fees are charged by the Insolvency Practitioner (IP) for assessing the suitability of an IVA for your situation, applying to the court on behalf of you and liaison with your creditors.


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