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Can I arrange an IVA on my own?

Some debt solutions, for example a debt management plan, can be arranged on your own if you choose to do so.

This does not apply to an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) however. An IVA is a legally binding solution, so it needs to be organised by a qualified Insolvency Practitioner.

This doesn't mean that you don't have any control over the process, however.

Can I get an IVA?

An IVA may be suitable for you if you can't meet your monthly repayments, or can't see yourself being able to repay your unsecured debts in any realistic amount of time - but you would be able to commit to lower monthly repayments.

If enough of your lenders agree to these new payments, your IVA will go ahead.

How can my Insolvency Practitioner help?

An Insolvency Practitioner (IP) is the person responsible for arranging your IVA. They can also give you help and guidance throughout your IVA.

They can help you work out how much your IVA will cost each month. They will make sure that your monthly unsecured debt repayment can exist alongside your mortgage or rent payments, food, fuel and bills. This ensures that you will have enough for your essential costs and your debts each month - making the repayment process more manageable.

Your IP will also negotiate with your lenders for you, including the initial IVA proposal, where each lender will be asked to accept the new, lower repayments. At regular periods (often every 6 or 12 months) your IP will check that your IVA is still the best debt solution for you, and recommend a course of action if you find that you are struggling to meet the terms of your IVA.

There is more information about IVAs on this page.

What else will an IVA do?

Upon successful completion of an IVA (usually after five years) your remaining unsecured debts will be written off. During your IVA your lenders won't be able to take further legal action against you.

There are some downsides, though. For example, if you are a homeowner you may be asked to release some of the equity in your home to pay towards your debts. An IVA will also stay on your credit rating for six years.

It's worth remembering, however, that if you carried on struggling to repay your debts then you could also damage your credit rating.

If you're not sure whether an IVA is right for you, fill in this form to find out if you might qualify for one and a professional will be in touch to talk about your individual circumstances.

By Matthew Plant.

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Subject to eligibility and acceptance. Fees Payable. Debt write off applies to unsecured debts only and on completion of an IVA, alternative solutions may be offered. If your IVA fails, it could lead to Bankruptcy. Your ability to obtain credit will be affected for at least 6 years. Homeowners may be required to release the equity in their property.