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From NI: 028 7187 8141  |   UK: 01202 237 337  |  From IRELAND: 074 9364000

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement is a formal and legally binding agreement between you and your creditors, administered by a licenced Insolvency Practitioner, which lasts for up to five years. It provides both parties with certain legal protections whilst you solve your debt problems.

Once the agreement is in place your creditors must stop all further interest and charges on your debts. If you maintain the agreed repayments, any outstanding debt included in the IVA is written off at the end of the term.

What are the minimum criteria for an IVA?

  • Two or more creditors
  • Unable to pay your debts
  • UK resident of Northern Ireland, England or Wales

Find out if an IVA is suitable for you. Contact us today, and also look through the R3 guide to an IVA here


Bankruptcy is a way of dealing with debts if you have no means of repaying your debts, and alternative with your creditors have failed. Bankruptcy makes you free from debts within 12 months (in most cases) and ensures your assets (if any) are shared evenly amongst your creditors.

Bankruptcy should only be considered when an individual cannot pay their debts as a matter of last resort. If you have no or little disposable income then bankruptcy may simply be your only option. Being made bankrupt for the first time generally mean you will receive your discharge one year after the date of the bankruptcy order. You may still be subject to an income payments order, if you have a sufficient amount of disposable income available.

It is always important you seek professional advice before declaring yourself bankrupt. It may seem very appealing to think you can be debt free in 12 months especially if you have a high level of debt but there are some drawbacks to bankruptcy which you need to be fully aware of.

You can download a guide to bankruptcy here for Northern Ireland residents and here for England & Wales.

Debt Management Plan

A debt management plan is an informal arrangement with your creditors, which rearranges your outgoings into a manageable monthly repayment. In a debt management plan, you make regular repayments to your creditors at a reduced rate than the origianl debt repayment, with their agreement. This option is suitable if you are not able to apply for an IVA, for example, due to having equity in your property, or where the financial difficulties are expected to be short term. In many cases, interest may be frozen while you maintain your agreed reduced repayment, however this is not guaranteed.

Debt management plans are flexible, and unlike an IVA, there is no set or legally binding time period for which they are required to last, meaning that if your circumstances improve, you can cancel your plan. If you remain in a debt management plan, your repayments would continue until they are paid in full, or you are able to come to another arrnagement with your creditors. A DMP should not be confused with an IVA, where shortfalls are written off at the end of a typical five year arrangement.

We do not offer debt management plans, however in order to obtain free advice on a Debt Management Plan there are a number of debt charities who may be able to help. Feel free to contact us however for a quick chat, as their are pros and cons to all remedies available to you, and we will always provide you with the best advice according to your situation.

You can contact StepChange Debt Charity or National Debt Line free of charge for any advice on debt management plans.

Even Keel Financial Ltd. is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Firm Reg No 718204
Dorothy Brown is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales