Stability and Protection
Since their inception in 1986, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) have become a more popular
option for those with significant unsecured debt, wishing to look at alternatives to Bankruptcy.
The process to set up an IVA can take between 4 to 6 weeks. The actual length of time will be
dictated by the speed with which the applicant can gather all the relevant documentation and
evidence required by their Insolvency Practitioner (IP). The IP is responsible for collating all
of the information from the applicant, and presenting the proposal to the creditors involved.
The IP will need to interview the applicant, which will usually be by telephone. The purpose of this
interview is to establish all the facts behind the individual’s financial situation, including income,
savings, assets, household information and outgoings, background of the debt and the creditors involved.
The IP will then be able to advise on the best possible course of action. If an IVA is deemed appropriate,
then further information and evidence will be required, such as credit statements, payslips as proof of
income, monthly bills as proof of expenditure, property and asset valuations. Identification will also be
required, such as a passport.
IVA Proposal and Creditors Review
Once all of this information has been received, the IP will then draft a proposal IVA to present to the
Creditors. All of the above will be taken into consideration, and the proposal will be for an amount that
the applicant can reasonably afford to pay monthly. The proposal will be signed by both the applicant and
the IP before being sent to each of the creditors, the county court and the Insolvency Service.
The creditors are given 2 to 3 weeks to review the proposal before a meeting is set up, chaired by the IP.
The meeting itself is often a virtual meeting, and it is common for some creditors to be represented by
companies working on their behalf. For the IVA to be approved, at least 75% (by value of the debt) must
agree to the IVA. If for any reason the Creditors are undecided, the IP may decide to adjourn the meeting
for up to 2 weeks.
If the IVA is approved, all the parties will be informed, with the IP sending out what is known as a
‘Chairman’s Report’ to advise of the outcome. The County Court and Insolvency Services are informed, with
the IVA also being recorded in the Insolvency Register. It will be at this stage that a new bank account
will be set up solely for the IVA payments which are made monthly. It would be at this stage that the
Supervision period begins, with the IP overseeing the progress of the IVA.
If for any reason the IVA is rejected, then the IP will be able to discuss with the individual other options,
such as Debt Management Plans or Bankruptcy.