What is an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement?

An IVA is a legal contract between you and your creditors, it is a legally binding arrangement supervised by a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, the purpose of which is to enable you to reach a compromise with your creditors and avoid the consequences of bankruptcy.

The IVA enables you to cut your debts to an affordable level and clear them over a fixed period. The compromise should offer a larger repayment towards your debt than could otherwise be expected were you to be made bankrupt. You can even take out a fresh mortgage while in an IVA. What�s more, it is a totally private arrangement � nobody needs to know about it apart from you, your advisors and your creditors. An IVA ensures that your home is protected and your job is not at risk.

You make one single manageable monthly payment, based on your budget, for 3-5 years. After that the remaining debt is wiped clean, leaving you completely debt-free. This means that an IVA can write off up to 75% of your debts.

However, under the terms of the agreement you undertake to contribute as much as possible within your budget. So in reality, an IVA presents an opportunity for you to pay whatever as you can in a manageable way � a way you can afford.
Please see Pros and Cons of an IVA.

Most Frequently Asked Questions about IVA
What is an IVA?What is an IVA?
Pros and Cons of an IVAPros and Cons of an IVA
I do Qualify for an IVA - but is it better than bankruptcy?I do Qualify for an IVA - but is it better than bankruptcy?
What is an IVA going to cost?What is an IVA going to cost?
What is the IVA process like?What is the IVA process like?
Click here to read more FAQ about IVA
What is an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement?

Who can benefit from an IVA?
An IVA is available to all individuals, Sole Traders and Partners who are experiencing creditor pressure and it is used particularly by those who own their own property and wish to avoid the possibility of losing it in the event they were made bankrupt.

How an IVA Works 1) Proposal submitted to court with a view to obtaining an Interim Order. 2) An Interim Order is issued by court stopping creditors from taking any action against you whilst a meeting of your creditors is called and held to decide whether the proposals are acceptable to them or not. 3) The following information will need to be gathered and presented as part of your IVA file:

The Nominee�s comments on the debtor�s proposals

The Proposals

  • Notice of the date and location of the meeting of creditors to vote on your proposals
  • A Statement of Affairs that lists your assets and liabilities and your income and expenditure
  • A background statement that explains the circumstances that culminated in the IVA being required
  • A schedule advising creditors of the requisite majority required to approve the IVA
  • A complete list of creditors
  • A guide to the fees charged by the Supervisor following approval of the IVA
  • A form of proxy for voting purposes

Creditors Meeting
The creditors meeting is usually held 2-4 weeks after the above has been circulated to creditors. The purpose of the meeting of creditors is to agree or reject your IVA proposals with or without modifications which can be requested by creditors at the meeting.

Acceptance of the proposals requires 75% in value of those creditors who vote. The 75% relates only to those who actually vote, all will be bound by the terms of the arrangement whether they voted or not. Upon approval of the IVA, a Supervisor is appointed (usually the Nominee) to ensure the proposals are adhered to and to distribute the dividends to creditors. Assuming the debtor complies with the terms of the arrangement, upon completion of the IVA he will be fully discharged from all liabilities included within it.

IVA World

Debtor (you) Debt Collectors (or Bailiffs) Judge/Law Creditors (or loan sharks) Insolvency Practitioners  (aka IPs) (or wise owls!) IVA Advisors

IVA Detailed Analysis
An IVA Detailed Analysis is a financial overview of your situation to establish whether an IVA is suitable.
Learn more about IVA Detailed Analysis

IVA Paperwork round up
Collect together the documents needs to support your IVA
Learn more about IVA Paperwork round up

Interim Order
A ruling from the Court protecting you from your Creditors for a period of 7 weeks
Lern more about Interim Order

IVA Proposal document
Your IP produces a formal written proposal for your creditors.
Learn more about IVA Proposal document

IVA IP Review
Your IP will review your case once a year or upon your request. This is to ensure that your IVA is running ok.
Learn more about IVA IP Review

IVA Creditor Meeting
If 75% of the value of the creditors who vote by the date of the Creditor Meeting say yes, then your IVA is accepted. Once the IVA is accepted, then all of the creditors listed in the IVA proposal (even the ones who didn�t bother to vote) are bound by law to bide by the terms of the IVA (they cannot bother you again).
Learn more about IVA Creditor Meeting

IVA Court Registration
Your IVA is registered at the local County Court
Learn more about IVA Court Registration

IVA Management & Review
Your IP is responsible for the ongoing management of your IVA
Learn more about IVA Management & Review

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
If you cant afford to repay the Debt that you owe, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) can be used to repay as much of the debt as possible in a more sensible way. It will normally involve Creditors stopping all further interest and charges and writing off a percentage of the debt. They are prepared to consider this because the alternative may be a bankruptcy where they would receive far less. Generally an IVA will involve a monthly payment plan which lasts for no longer than 5 years. However, this period could be reduced if a lump sum is available perhaps from the release of equity from property. Therefore the IVA gives light at the end of the tunnel to those who are struggling with serious debts.
Learn more about Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

The debtor is the person who owes money. If you have debt in your name, then you are liable for this debt and you are the Debtor. You are only liable for debt in your name. This means if your partner or spouse has debts in their name, then even if you have helped them spend the money, you are not liable for this debt and you are not the debtor.
Learn more about Debtor

These are the people you owe money to. There are two types of creditors:

  • Secured Creditors � These creditors can take something of yours if you do not maintain the debt repayments. A house mortgage or a car HP agreement would examples of secured creditor. Secured creditors CAN NOT be included in an IVA.
  • Unsecured Creditors � These creditors can not take anything of yours if you do not pay them. Examples of unsecured creditors are credit cards, bank loans, catalogues and store cards, student debts and family debts. Unsecured creditors CAN be included in an IVA.

Learn more about Creditors

IVA Advisor
The IVA advisor is the person who will work with you to understand your financial circumstances. They will explain your options and work with you to resolve your debt problem. They will be a single point of contact for you.
Learn more about IVA Advisor

Insolvency Practitioner
If you want to do an IVA, you cannot do this yourself. You have to use an Insolvency Practitioner (IP). The IP is like a Chartered Accountant They have a special license granted by the Government which gives them the legal authority to propose an IVA and negotiate it with you creditors. They have a legal duty to ensure that the IVA is the fairest deal possible for both you and your creditors.
Learn more about Insolvency Practitioner

Debt Collector
If you do not repay your debts on time, a Debt Collector may be employed by your Creditor to chase you for the money you owe. The job of the debt collector is to try and pressure you into paying your debt. They do this by making threats such as visiting you at home, and taking Court action
Learn more about Debt Collector

Judge / Court
The Judge and Court uphold the law and are there to help you. If you need temporary protection from your creditors to stop them taking further action against you, you can apply to the Court for an Interim Order. This will stop debt collectors from hassling you while your IVA case is presented. Once your IVA is accepted, the Court will ensure that the Creditors respect the agreement and will stop them from bothering you any more about your debts.
Learn more about Judge / Court

Interim Order
An Interim Order is a legal Court ruling which gives a breathing space from creditor actions. Once the Interim Order is in place, any Creditor actions to recover debt currently underway must be stopped and no further actions can be started for a period of 7 weeks. The idea is to stop any one creditor taking an action which could result in all the creditors loosing out overall (for example a Bankruptcy or a Charging Order petition). An Insolvency Practitioner can use the time given by an Interim Order to propose an IVA to the Creditors.
Learn more about Interim Order

Legal Charge
If a Creditor is struggling to recover the money they are owed and they know that the Debtor has a property, the Creditor can apply to the Court for a Legal Charge against the property.
Learn more about Legal Charge

Disposable Income
Disposable income is the difference between your normal household income and your reasonable household living expenses.
Learn more about Disposable Income

Statement of Affairs
Your Statement of Affairs is a document which records all of your financial details and history.
Learn more about Statement of Affairs

IVA Proposal Document
The IVA Proposal Document is a summary of the main details of a Debtor�s Statement of Affairs.
Learn more about IVA Proposal Document

Assets are things that you own which have a reasonable resale value.
Learn more about Assets

Equity is the money which would be left after a property is sold and all outstanding mortgages and arrears owed to the bank are paid off. In effect it is the asset value that the owner personally has in the property.
Learn more ablout Equity

Meeting If an IVA is proposed, the creditors are given two weeks to consider the proposal. At the end of these two weeks, there is a dead line called a Creditors Meeting. This meeting is an opportunity for the creditors to get together, discuss and agree the IVA. In reality, creditors rarely bother to attend this meeting. They prefer instead to write a letter to the Insolvency Practitioner to give their acceptance or rejection of the IVA proposal. Generally it is not necessary for the Debtor to attend the Creditor Meeting.

IVA Annual Review
If Creditors accept an IVA, they are all legally bound by its terms.
Learn more about IVA Annual Review

For more information see:
IVA Helpline



Action Bar

IVA help ForumThe IVA Forum: Top 30 Hot Topics
Active Topics on IVA Forum
What is the process of applying for a mortgage loan? (by: narose864)
PayPlan Full & Final (by: simon363)
PayPlan F&F (by: simon363)
IVA while living abroad (by: uowieczka)
Vanguard/Ebenegate (by: David888)
Proof of Income (by: Noah Peter)
Moving Home (by: DapplesES)
Credit Score (by: Noah Peter)
Vanguard ebenegate saga (by: Colin351973)
HMRC Contact for IVA Related Stuff (by: bee900)
Car Finance (by: JoshuaLouie20)
Mortgage offer after IVA (within 6 years) (by: Lolaclare)
Vanguard Insolvency wound up. (by: Foggy)
Charity Trustee (by: reeves55)
Energy Rebate Scheme (by: Neleh)
Is it worth it? (by: Cris2)
F&F settlement - no meeting / proof of funds? (by: Lolaclare)
IVA while living abroad (by: Cris2)
Increase in monthly payment (by: Jo.c89)
Variation, no date? Started in November?! Help! (by: SweetPea)
How charge cards influence your FICO assessment? (by: Foggy)
Understanding an F&F (by: mel865)
Yorkshire Water debt (by: surfingruthie53)
Advice please (by: Jeseva)
Debt not considered in IVA?? (by: mrkrabs)
Equity Release (by: wakeywakey)
F&F offer / timescale (by: Daleclark89)
Can I get a home loan and car loan if I have bad credit? (by: Foggy)
Creditor Oddity (by: Crumlin)
Full and final offer (by: clare357)
Forum BrowseForum JoinForum Search

Free Debt Guides
FREE useful guides!

Debtor (you)Debt Collectors (or Bailiffs)Judge/Law Creditors (or loan sharks)Insolvency Practitioners  (aka IPs) (or wise owls!)IVA Advisors