DEBT RELIEF ORDER
(available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only)
A DRO can be a low cost alternative to Bankruptcy, it is only available if you owe less than £20,000 if you live in England or Wales or less than £15,000 in Northern Ireland and you have £50 or less spare each month after paying your household bills. Once you enter into a DRO, your usual payments to included debts will stop for 12 months. If your financial situation shows no improvement after this, the outstanding balances on included debts will be written off.. Debt relief orders are not available if you live in Scotland. In Scotland, a Minimal Assets Process (MAP) bankruptcy is a similar solution, but it’s important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.
While a DRO is in force you don’t have to make payments towards debts included in your DRO, you are still responsible for paying off any that aren’t included in the DRO – this is because DRO’s don’t cover all debts.
DROs are specifically designed for people with few assets and a relatively low level of debt.
To apply for a DRO there’s a fee of £90. If you can’t afford to pay the £90 fee upfront, you can pay this in instalments or you may be able to get help towards the cost from some charities.. You have to go to a DRO adviser, also called an approved intermediary – you cannot submit your own application.
It is a criminal offence to falsify any information on a DRO.
YOU CAN APPLY FOR A DRO IF:
- Your unsecured debts are £20,000 or less.
- You £50 or less left over each month after your usual household bills and expenses are paid.
- You are not a homeowner.
- Your assets are worth less than £1,000 including if you own a car.
- You haven’t had any other formal Insolvency process in the last six years such as an IVA, Bankruptcy, or a Debt Relief Order.
- You have lived, had a property or owned a business in the last three years in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
MAIN ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES:
- A Debt Relief Order is a fast track, formal insolvency solution. The main benefit for you is that you will get legal protection from your creditors, so they cannot contact you for payment.
- All debts included in a DRO are cleared after one year. Any debts not included will remain outstanding.
- A Debt Relief Order costs only £90, which is cheaper than petitioning for bankruptcy. This £90 can also be paid in instalments.
- During the 12 months the DRO is in place, you will not be required to make any payments towards the included debts.
- Interest and charges relating to debts included in a DRO will be frozen for the 12 months the DRO is active.
- A Debt Relief Order will adversely affect your credit rating and will remain on your credit file for 6 years from the day the Order is made. This will affect your ability to obtain credit.
- A Debt Relief Order can impact on certain jobs. You cannot be a director of a limited company, a Magistrate or an Insolvency Practitioner. Also, certain jobs in finance and the Civil Service can be affected. We would always suggest that you check your employment contract if a Debt Relief Order is a solution you are considering.
- If your circumstances change during the 12 month period the Debt Relief Order is active and you no longer meet the criteria we discussed, the Order will be revoked. This means that interest and charges will be added and you will be required to pay back the debts.
- A Debt Relief Order is a formal insolvency process and a matter of public record.
- It is a criminal offence to falsify information on a DRO.
- When your DRO is approved your details will be added to the Insolvency register.
Freephone 0800 009 6211
Consumer Information Service only gives advice, we do not provide any debt solutions and we do not charge for our advice. If during our conversation with you and after discussing the options that are available to your personal situation you decide a debt solution is the most appropriate option for you, then we offer a no obligation referral to carefully selected debt solution providers for which we may receive a referral fee.
Some debt solutions involve fees to you. These fees will always be explained to you and can differ depending on your circumstance. Any fees will be confirmed in writing from the debt solution provider before any agreements are signed.
Consumer Information Service is a trading name of Consumer Claims Service Ltd, registered in England and Wales, Company Number 9703609. Registered Address Fernhills Business Centre, Foerster Chambers, Todd Street, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom BL9 5BJ. Data Protection Registration Number: ZA145229 Consumer Information Service is an Appointed Representative of Debt Help Ltd authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 782878.