Site Map | Feedback | Key Shortcuts | Help
1 Dealing with Debt
10. Dealing with many debts
If you have many different debts, there are several ways, using the courts, that you can sort things out yourself.
Administration order (AO)
Creditors may tell the court that they don't want to be included on the AO, but the court will decide whether or not to include them. The court may set a hearing date to hear any objections from creditors.
You can ask the court for a composition order, which is a way of limiting the payment period. You pay your debts at a rate you can afford for a fixed period, normally three years. After this time, any money you owe is written off.
Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)
You have to pay all the costs and fees and also a large amount of the debt, so an IVA is realistic only if you have a fair amount of spare money or things you can sell to pay your debts.
If you are considering this option, you should shop around to compare insolvency practitioners' advice and charges. Remember that the insolvency practitioner will not necessarily act in your best interests; they are businesses that need to make a profit. It is therefore important to get independant advice before signing an IVA.
Bankruptcy is not an easy option and you should get expert advice before applying to make yourself bankrupt. It is normally the right option when you have large debts that will take many years to repay. It may not be suitable if you:
And there are some types of debt you will still have to pay after bankruptcy:
Finally, you must make a lump-sum payment including:
You can apply to have the court fee waived if you are receiving certain benefits or can't afford to pay it.
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Birmingham Settlement.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: October 2019
CLS Legal Info Leaflets
(Legal Information Leaflets)