Individual Voluntary Arrangements
When debts become overwhelming, it is common for thoughts of bankruptcy to be seen as the last resort. However, there is an alternative which is far less restrictive but can be just as beneficial for the debtor ... Individual Voluntary Arrangements.
Simply, an IVA is an arrangement between the debtor and his/her creditors to repay a percentage of the debt over the life of the IVA, usually 5 years. This is to be done under the watchful eye of an insolvency practitioner. At the end of the IVA any outstanding debt is usually written off.
Who can make an Individual Voluntary Arrangement?
- Normally only a debtor can initiate an IVA, but if the debtor is an undischarged bankrupt the trustee, Official Receiver or even the bankruptcy courts can do so.
- When hearing a debtor's petition, the court is required to consider whether an IVA might be more appropriate than bankruptcy.
It should be borne in mind that IVAs, just like bankruptcy, are restrictive. It is not simply a matter of setting up an IVA, paying off a percentage of your debt and just walking away from the rest of what you owe. There are some Key Effects on your current and future finances which should be considered before making a decision.