Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA): How to Apply, Debt Management Plan

Individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) are formal and enforceable agreements between a borrower and a lender to repay the debts, usually over five or six years. An IVA implies that creditors have to abide by it because the court approved it. People who are looking for a bankruptcy alternative and battling with overwhelming debt often resort to IVAs. The debtor usually works with an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) to apply for an IVA. The IP evaluates the debtor's financial status and assists the debtor in proposing a repayment plan to creditors. 

The monthly repayment amount that the debtor has the means to pay, considering their income and costs, is detailed in the proposal. Creditors have the option to vote to approve or reject the proposal after it is presented to them. The IVA debt becomes legally binding on every party, including creditors who did not vote in favour of it if creditors representing at least 75% of the total debt value approve the proposal. The IP receives regular payments from debtors and disburses money to creditors according to the conditions of IVA loans.

A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a flexible arrangement that sets a longer repayment plan between a debtor and their creditors. A DMP does not call for the participation of a bankruptcy attorney or entail a legally enforceable agreement. Debtors deal directly with a debt management company or credit counselling agency to negotiate lower payments from creditors based on their financial condition.

The debt management company receives regular payments from debtors, and it disburses funds on their behalf. A DMP fails to offer as much protection from creditors as an IVA, even though it makes it easier for people to manage their debt more skillfully and avoid bankruptcy. There is no legal obligation on the part of creditors to accept a DMP, and interest and other costs remain incurred on unpaid debts. IVAs and DMPs offer debtors options for managing their debt, but based on their goals and finances, the best choice is not necessarily ideal for them.

What is IVA?

An IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement is a formal agreement made by a debtor and their creditors to repay debts over a set time, often five to six years. Individuals with serious debt issues often opt for IVAs as an alternative to bankruptcy. The debtor works with a licensed Insolvency Practitioner (IP) to start an IVA. The IP evaluates the debtor's current financial situation and suggests a repayment schedule to creditors. The debtor pays the IP on regular schedules during the IVA period, and the IP distributes money to creditors under the provisions of the agreement.

The outstanding debts covered by the agreement are usually written off after the IVA term, giving the debtor a clean financial slate. IVA loans give people an organised approach to handling their loans without facing the severe repercussions of bankruptcy, including losing their possessions and not being engaged in certain financial activities in future loan type. IVAs have tight qualifying criteria and potential hazards, so individuals considering the option obtain expert counsel and carefully assess their choices before moving forward.

Individual voluntary arrangement IVA

How does IVA Work?

An IVA helps debtors who are struggling financially repay their debts over a specified period, usually five or six years. An IVA operates through several crucial phases. The debtor works with a certified Insolvency Practitioner or IP to evaluate their financial status and provide a repayment schedule for creditors to consider. The proposal describes how much the debtor must repay each month based on their income and costs. Creditors have the option to vote on whether or not to approve the proposal after it is presented to them.

The agreement becomes legally obligatory on everyone involved, including creditors who did not vote in favour if it is approved by creditors who account for at least 75% of the total debt value. The debtor pays the IP regularly during the IVA period, and the IP disburses money to creditors by the provisions of the agreement. An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is meant to give people a workable substitute for filing for bankruptcy while enabling them to make manageable loan repayments. Debtors carefully manage their obligations while avoiding the more severe effects of bankruptcy, such as asset loss and limitations on future financial activity, by registering for an IVA.

How to Apply for Individual Voluntary Arrangement?

To apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, one needs to follow the steps below.

  1. Look for a qualified insolvency practitioner (IP) or debt advisor. The first step towards determining whether an IVA is the best option for the situation is after they have evaluated the financial situation.
  2. Assess the financial status. The IP or debt advisor analyses the assets, debts, income, and expenses as part of a comprehensive financial assessment. The evaluation assists in determining if one has the means to pay the IVA regularly.
  3. Prepare the proposal. The IP works with the borrower to draft a formal proposal detailing the repayment plan to creditors, provided an IVA is determined to be appropriate. The proposal contains information about how much people afford to pay each month and the duration of the IVA.
  4. Submit the proposal. The plan is sent to the creditors for review after it is completed. The proposal is available for creditors to analyse and vote on.
  5. Approve the request. Creditors who account for a minimum of 75% of the total debt value must vote in favour of an IVA for it to be approved. The proposal is legally binding on each of the parties, including creditors who abstained from voting.
  6. Agree on the terms. The IVA formally starts when it is approved, and debtors have to pay the IP regularly as specified in the proposal. The IP is in charge of allocating money to creditors in line with the provisions of the contract.
  7. Follow the agreement. Debtors agree to abide by the provisions of the agreement until the contract is complete, including paying on time and giving the IP any necessary financial information. Any outstanding debts under the terms of the arrangement are usually written off after every payment is finally made and the IVA term has ended, clearing the credit history.
How to apply for individual voluntary arrangement

What are the Requirements for IVA?

The requirements for IVA are listed below.

  • The Insolvency Practitioner: Establishing and overseeing the IVA requires collaboration with a licenced insolvency practitioner (IP). The IP examines the financial standing, creates the IVA plan, and manages the arrangement once it has been accepted.
  • Financial Status: The ability to pay the IVA every month requires that one has a steady source of income or money. The monthly payment capacity is determined by considering the income, expenses, assets, and obligations.
  • Debts: Debtors must have unsecured loans, such as credit cards, personal loans, overdrafts, and utility bills that are difficult to repay. Secured debts are considered as part of the entire financial evaluation but are not normally included in an IVA.
  • Debtor Qualifications: Applicants must be residents of England, Wales, or Northern Ireland and individuals, not businesses. An IVA must be entered into by anyone with any amount of debt. It is typically more suited to individuals who have large unsecured obligations that they are unable to pay back in full.
  • IVA Request: A written proposal detailing the repayment plan, including information on how much the borrower is willing to spend each month and the length of the IVA, must be prepared and submitted to creditors. The plan needs to be presented to creditors for review and approval.
  • The Approval of Creditors: Creditors who account for a minimum of 75% of the total debt value must vote in favour of an IVA eligibility to qualify for it to be approved. It guarantees that the repayment plan specified in the IVA proposal is approved by the majority of creditors.

How Much is the Interest Rate for IVA?

The amount of interest rate for IVA is not fixed. The terms negotiated with creditors and the particulars of the individual's financial circumstances are two of the many variables that affect the interest rate for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). IVAs do not include continuous interest costs on the outstanding debt, in contrast to alternative debt solutions that include debt management plans or debt consolidation loans. Repaying a portion of the total debt over a certain period, typically five to six years, is the main focus instead.

The person pays the insolvency practitioner (IP) on a regular schedule throughout the entire period, and the IP allocates the money to creditors by the conditions of the IVA. Interest rates are not immediately applied to the debt throughout the IVA term. Any interest or fees that have accumulated before the IVA started are included in the total amount of debt.

The individual has to remortgage their property if they have equity-containing assets, and the IVA offers creditors the right to release equity. It leads to higher interest rates on the amount that is remortgaged. The interest rate computation for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is not a predetermined percentage. It is calculated by criteria unique to the financial situation of the debtor and the parameters negotiated with creditors as part of the IVA application. Individuals considering an IVA must seek expert assistance from a licensed insolvency practitioner to fully appreciate the potential ramifications and costs of the arrangement.

Is an IVA Worth It?

Yes, an IVA is worthwhile. The value of an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is determined by the individual's financial condition, ambitions, and circumstances. An IVA provides a systematic and legally enforceable way for individuals suffering financial difficulties due to overwhelming debt and the risk of filing for bankruptcy. Individuals escape the more serious penalties of bankruptcy, such as asset loss and limits on future financial activities, by enrolling in IVA. It consolidates their obligations into a single sustainable monthly payment, sometimes at a lower sum.

An IVA protects people against further creditor action, such as legal actions and harassment, once the agreement is authorised. An IVA gives people authority over their assets and finances, allowing them to work towards debt freedom within a predetermined time frame. The potential adverse impacts of an IVA, such as how it affects credit scores and how strictly the requirements of payment must be followed throughout a contract, need to be considered.

IVAs aren't appropriate for every type of debt, and they are expensive to create and maintain. An individual's unique situation and goals determine whether or not an IVA is worthwhile. It is best to get expert guidance from a certified debt advisor or insolvency practitioner to weigh all of the alternatives and make a well-informed choice given the financial circumstances.

What is the Repayment Plan for IVA?

The repayment plan for IVA is customised according to the individual's income, expenses, assets, obligations, and affordability. The repayment plan must be based on the amount the debtor can afford, and the creditors must agree to it. The IVA typically lasts five or six years to make monthly payments. A licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) works with the individual to produce the plan, which is presented to the creditors for review and approval. Everyone involved in the repayment plan, even the creditors who cast no votes, must abide by it once approved. The repayment plan combines the borrower's unsecured debts into one manageable monthly payment.

The IVA payment is determined by their disposable income after basic living expenditures are subtracted. Monthly payments are collected from the individual by the IP, who disburses the money to creditors under the IVA's provisions. The person must follow the repayment schedule and pay the IP on time throughout the IVA. Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement results in the IVA being terminated and creditors taking additional steps to recover their debts.

A typical repayment plan includes terms allowing for an annual or other periodic evaluation of the borrower's financial situation to determine whether repayment terms need to be adjusted. The person has to pay more to creditors if their financial circumstances improve throughout the IVA term. An IVA Repayment Strategy gives people a controlled and reasonable approach to paying back their debts over time, protection from additional creditor action, and the chance to pay off outstanding debts completely within a set amount of time.

How to determine an IVA Plan?

To determine an IVA Plan, consider the steps listed below.

  1. Analyse the financial situation. A certified Insolvency Practitioner (IP) conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the debtor's financial situation before initiating the repayment plan. The evaluation looks at the person's earnings, out-of-pocket spending, possessions, and debts.
  2. Compute the total income. The IP eliminates necessary living expenses from the total earnings to determine the person's disposable income. The monthly payment amount for the IVA is calculated using such available revenue as the starting point.
  3. Negotiate with the creditors. The IP works with the debtors to reach a settlement that allows the debtor to make smaller payments that they manage while giving the creditors a respectable return on their outstanding debt.
  4. Submit a proposal. The repayment plan is presented to the person's creditors for approval after it is finalised. The plan is available for inspection by creditors, who cast their votes to approve or reject it.
  5. Accept and approve. The agreement becomes legally obligatory on every party, including creditors who did not vote in favour of it, when approved by creditors who account for at least 75% of the total debt value.
  6. Pay consistently. The person must pay the IP every month under the repayment schedule that was agreed upon during the IVA term.
  7. Allocate the money to debtors. The IP gets the monthly payments from the person and disburses money to creditors in line with the settlement.
  8. Follow the Repayment Plan. Payback schedules are vital to the success of an IVA. The IVA gets terminated for failure with the terms of the agreement.

Is IVA better than DMP?

Yes, IVA is better than DMP. A person's financial objectives and unique circumstances influence whether an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a better option over a Debt Management Plan (DMP). Debt management is the goal of IVAs and DMPs, but there are some key distinctions between the two. An IVA offers a structured plan to repay a portion of the debts over a certain length of time, usually five to six years, and creates a legally binding agreement between the debtor and creditors. IVAs often provide the opportunity to become debt-free within a predetermined time frame by having a portion of the debt written off after the agreement. IVAs offer protection from additional creditor actions, including lawsuits and harassment, once the agreement is accepted. IVAs necessitate tight adherence to the repayment plan and hurt credit ratings.

Debt Management Plans (DMPs) are unofficial agreements between a debtor and creditors to repay debts over a longer term, usually with lower monthly payments. DMPs do not provide as much protection from creditors as IVAs because they are not considered legally binding agreements. DMPs offer greater flexibility and accessibility, enabling people to work out lower payments with creditors in light of their financial situation. DMPs have a lower influence on credit ratings than IVAs. The choice between an IVA vs. DMP is based on several variables, including debt load, income, costs, and goals about money. Individuals need to seek expert guidance from a licensed Insolvency Practitioner or debt advisor to weigh their alternatives and choose which solution is best suited to their specific needs.

How long does IVA last?

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) usually lasts from five to six years, though it varies based on specific circumstances. The proposal stage is when the length of the IVA term is decided upon, considering the debt load, the individual's costs, and income. The person pays a portion of their debts within the allotted time by making regular monthly payments towards the IVA within the agreed-upon term. The debts that remain under the terms of the arrangement are usually written off at the end of the IVA term, giving the individual a clean financial slate.

The IVA's terms must be carefully followed during its tenure. A breach of the repayment schedule resulted in the termination of the IVA and additional legal action by the creditors to recoup their money. The duration of an IVA allows individuals to return their debts in a structured and reasonable manner over time while protecting them from further creditor action and allowing them to become debt-free within a certain time frame.

How can Bridging Loans be used to refinance IVA Debts?

Bridging Loans can be used to refinance IVA debts which offer a short-term financing option to pay off the current debt commitments.

It is a form of loan that serves as a bridge finance source until there is a more permanent financial solution. Individuals with IVA obligations consolidate their debts and receive more favourable terms for repayment, such as reduced interest rates, by using a bridging loan.

The ability to secure the loan against real estate or other valuable assets makes it easier to obtain the funding needed to refinance the IVA debts. Bridging loans is a good choice for people who want to accelerate their financial situation's growth and liquidity, facilitating an easier exit from the IVA arrangement. Bridged loan refinancing of IVA debts requires a calculated strategy, frequently led by financial professionals who are knowledgeable in business loan and debt refinancing procedures. Individuals efficiently negotiate the difficulties of refinancing IVA debts and potentially get better terms and conditions for their new financial arrangements by collaborating with professionals in the field of corporate finance.

How does IVA affect Secured and Unsecured Loans?

The table below shows how IVA affects Secured and Unsecured loans.

Secured Loan

Unsecured Loan

Continuation of Payments: Secured loans often persist beyond the IVA because they are backed by assets, such as real estate or vehicles. Regular instalments to the secured creditor, as agreed upon before the IVA, remain the individual's responsibility.

Inclusion in the IVA: Credit cards and personal loans are examples of unsecured loans that are usually included in the IVA. The debtor makes modest monthly payments on their debts as part of the arrangement.

Arrears Management: The individual must take care of any secured loan arrears independently from the agreement if they exist at the beginning of the IVA. The IVA frees up more funds to assist in better managing arrears.

Reduced Payments: The debtor bargains with unsecured creditors for lower payments through the IVA, considering their financial situation. It allows more reasonable repayments over a predetermined time frame, typically five to six years, to be made.

Risk of Default: Failure to pay secured loan commitments results in default and creditor repossession or foreclosure, while the IVA focuses on managing unsecured debts.

Debt Write-off: The debtor is relieved of the burden of any outstanding unsecured obligations after the IVA term when the debts are usually written off.


Interest and Fees Freeze: Interest and fees on unsecured debts are frozen throughout the IVA, which helps to keep the debt from accruing more and makes it simpler for the debtor to repay. It is advisable to compare the fees applied to a secured vs. unsecured loan.

How does IVA Affect your Credit Rating?

The IVA affects your credit rating by an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), which impacts future credit availability. An IVA is usually documented on a person's credit file, where it stays active for six years after the arrangement's commencement date. Lenders are sometimes more hesitant to grant credit to someone who has an IVA during the period simply because they see it as an indication of financial hardship. Individuals with an IVA have difficulty obtaining new credit, such as loans, credit cards, or mortgages, during and after the IVA term. The existence of the IVA continues to affect the person's creditworthiness long after it is completed and deleted from their credit file.

Lenders consider a borrower's previous financial struggles when evaluating their credit applications. The impact of an IVA on an individual's credit rating varies depending on the lender's criteria and other circumstances, such as the individual's financial behaviour during and after the arrangement. An individual manages debt in a more structured manner with an IVA and prevents more serious outcomes, including bankruptcy. Professional advice is necessary to fully comprehend the ramifications and the potential impact on one's credit rating.

What is the IVA for an Existing Mortgage?

The IVA for an existing mortgage is a special agreement signed between a person and their mortgage lender to manage mortgage arrears or debt within the framework of an IVA. The agreement offers a systematic and reasonable manner for people who are having financial difficulties to address their debt by allowing them to include their mortgage arrears or debt in the total IVA plan.

The IVA allows the client to negotiate lower payments with their unsecured creditors, freeing up more income that is used to resolve mortgage arrears or debt. One way to help the person bring their mortgage account up to date and reduce the chance of foreclosure or repossession by the mortgage lender is to combine every bill into one manageable monthly payment.

An IVA does not offer a long-term solution for mortgage debt, even though it helps manage mortgage arrears and relieve unsecured debt. Maintaining their mortgage account and preventing future arrears from building up requires individuals to continue making their regular mortgage payments outside of the IVA. Failing to adhere to the conditions of the IVA, such as making mortgage payments, compromise the arrangement's viability and perhaps cost the person their house.

Loans with an IVA provide a systematic approach for people to manage debt or mortgage arrears about their entire financial circumstances. It offers a chance to avert foreclosure or repossession while pursuing debt freedom within a set time frame, typically five to six years. Individuals must carefully evaluate the effects and seek expert assistance to determine whether an IVA is appropriate for efficiently managing mortgage loans.

Is IVA used as a Bankruptcy Alternative?

Yes, an IVA is used as a bankruptcy substitute to help people with severe financial troubles. An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) provides a more structured and controllable alternative for people to manage their obligations while avoiding some of the more severe repercussions of bankruptcy. The term bankruptcy entails the entire liquidation of assets and a potentially lengthy and costly court process.

Individuals work with their creditors to arrange reduced payments through an IVA, usually over five or six years. The negotiation is based on the individual's affordability. It allows people to return a portion of their debts in a more structured and manageable manner while shielding them from further creditor action, such as legal actions and harassment, after the arrangement is authorised.

IVAs often permit people to keep ownership of their assets as long as they continue to fulfil their duties under the agreement, compared to bankruptcy, which results in the loss of assets, including homes or cars. IVAs give people a chance to escape some of the long-term effects of bankruptcy, such as limitations on their future financial activity and a potential stigma attached to it.

What is the Difference Between IVA and Debt Consolidation Loans?

IVA and Debt Consolidation Loans differ mainly in how they handle debt and the systems involved. A legal agreement to repay a part of debt over a set length of time is known as an IVA between a debtor and their creditors. The individual deals a lower rate with their creditors depending on their affordability, and any unpaid debts included in the arrangement are usually written off after the term. An IVA protects anyone from additional creditor action, such as legal actions and harassment, once the arrangement is authorised.

Debt Consolidation Loans involve getting a fresh loan to settle pre-existing obligations, combining several bills into a solitary monthly instalment. The method simplifies debt management by consolidating multiple loans into a single one, potentially lowering total monthly payments and organising finances. Debt consolidation loans do not entail discussions with creditors or the potential to write off outstanding obligations, contrary to an IVA. Individuals are responsible for repaying the entire borrowed amount but on more favourable terms and conditions.

An IVA and debt consolidation loans are two distinct concepts, even though the two seek to assist people in managing their debts more skillfully. Debt consolidation loans are just a new type of borrowing. An IVA is a formal legal agreement that needs permission from creditors and provides protection from further creditor action. A debt consolidation loan requires people to repay the entire amount borrowed, but on more favourable terms, in contrast, an IVA usually entails negotiating lower payments and the potential for a debt write-off.

The two options offer debtors the option of consolidating their obligations into smaller instalments, helping to manage their debts more effectively. The decision between an IVA and a debt consolidation loan ultimately comes down to personal circumstances, financial objectives, and the amount of debt owed. Individuals must carefully explore their alternatives and seek professional assistance before deciding on the best answer for their personal needs.


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