The Guide To Debt Solutions

by James Driffield - Date: 2010-08-27 - Word Count: 738 Share This!

By the end of 2009, the number of personal insolvencies that had been filed in courtrooms around England and Wales had risen to 134,053. This figure represents 31.1 per ten thousand of the overall adult population in England and Wales. This rise in the number of people declaring themselves bankrupt has also generated an increase in the number of people seeking debt solutions. For example, according to figures released by the government at the beginning of 2010, the number of people applying for Individual Voluntary Arrangements has risen to 47,461 during 2009 alone. Other popular debt solutions include, Debt Management Plans, Debt Relief Orders (DRO), Trust Deeds (this debt management solution is exclusive to Scotland) and in the worst case Bankruptcy.

Debt Management Plans are a debt solution aimed at people with low levels of debts. Unlike many other debt management solutions, it does not consist in a legally binding agreement. In this case, the debt management company will negotiate an agreement on behalf of the debtor. This type of agreement also ensures that the debtor does not receive direct demands for payments towards the debts listed in the plan. The main objective of a Debt Management Plan is to lower the debtor's expenditures so that they take better control over their finances. What's more, any interest charges will be frozen in order to enable the repayment of the debts included in the debt management plan.

The Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) is another popular debt management solution. An IVA consists in a legally binding agreement between the debtor and their creditors. This type of agreement is decided between the Insolvency Practioner and the creditors. Once an agreement is reached, the Insolvency Practitioner will then decide on how the funds paid in to the IVA are redistributed amongst the creditors. However, in order to apply for this agreement, there are some strict rules than the debtor must obey in order to apply for an IVA.

The debtor must owe at least 15,000 of unsecured debts to at least three creditors
The debtor or their partner must have a regular source of income that comes from employment.

Even though the debtor must comply with these strict requirements, there are many advantages in opting for an IVA over a bankruptcy procedures
The debtor retains to trade
The debtor is still able to request credit
The debtor's assets will not be taken over by a third party (for example the debtor does not have to sell their house)
If there is a change in the debtor's personal circumstances (e.g.: loss of income or death of partner), the IP will submit a revised version of the offer to the creditors.

The most recent debt management solution is the Debt Relief Order (DRO) that was introduced in April 2009. However, its availibility remains limited to 43,000 in 2010 compared to 21,000 in 2009. A DRO generally last for 12 months, during which time, the debts listed in the order are frozen. That means creditors wion't be able to take any action towards the repayment of the debt. However, the Debt Relief Order is regulated by some strict rules:
The debtor must not be able to pay their debts
The debtor's unsecured debts must not exceed 15,000
The debtor's total gross assets must not exceed 300
The debtor must not be involved in any other form of insolvency procedure such as an IVA or a Bankruptcy Procedure
Disposable income following the deduction of normal household bills must not exceed 50.

When the debtor is not able to pay any of the debts they owe their creditors, they can be subject to a Bankruptcy Order. During this period, all interest charges are frozen and a trustee will take control of the debtor's assets in order to oversee their finances.

The Bankruptcy Order is a ruling that is pronounced by a court of justice.
If the debtor is able of making payments towards their debts, then they will have to make a monthly payment for a set period of three years.
Creditors will be paid from the sale of the debtor's valuable assets.
A full investigation of the debtor's financial affairs will be carried out.
It appears that most debt solutions consist in a legally binding agreement that aim at freezing interest charges. Furthermore, in most cases the debtor will also be able of retaining their valuable assets (it is only in the case of a Bankruptcy Order that this is not possible).

Related Tags: iva, debt solutions, dro

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