IVA Failed or in Danger of Failing?

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), is a legal method of resolving debt problems. It allows a person to repay a percentage of their unsecured debt back to their creditors in affordable monthly installments over a fixed term, usually around 5/6 years. Both debtors and creditors are legally bound by this arrangement and must comply with what is set out in the proposal; if you do not do this, you run the risk of your IVA failing.

There are various things which you could do that may put your IVA at risk, however, circumstances can change and your IVA will not fail instantly, you will first be given a notice of breach which highlights how you have not complied with the terms of your proposal and what you can do to rectify this.

What is an IVA breach?

Breach by definition is the act of breaking an agreement. Things that are considered as a breach include;

• Missing payments or falling into three months arrears with your contributions
• Failing to provide the information required to complete your Income and Expenditure Review
• Failing to pay in additional income that has been identified
• Taking out finance greater than £500 without permission from your Supervisor
• Failing to declare windfall to your Supervisor
• Failing to do something that your Supervisor requests you to do – for example, failing to sell an asset that was agreed in your proposal
• Failing to pay in any money you have received from selling any assets

What happens if I breach my IVA?

A notice of breach will explain the alleged breach and explain how you can rectify this in a given time-frame. Should you fail to remedy the breach, the Supervisor will be required to arrange a meeting of creditors in which they will be given the option to terminate/cancel your IVA.

It is important to remember that if your circumstances change in any way, good or bad, for example, if you have a decrease in your income or even if you have an increase in income it is important to inform your Supervisor of these changes either way. Notification of these changes will allow your case to be reviewed and ensure that your IVA is affordable, preventing you from breaching the terms and conditions. Any changes must be disclosed to the Supervisor of your IVA.

How can I Keep my IVA on Track?

There are things that can be done to help keep you on track with your IVA and avoid any problems.

1) Budget carefully

Your budget was put together in order to help you keep your living expenses covered over the term of your IVA; use this to manage your money between reviews.

2) Inform your IVA Supervisor if you are struggling with payments

Your IVA provider will be there to support you throughout your IVA journey and it is important to notify them if you are struggling with payments, there are things that can be done to provide you with some relief in these instances. When your case has been reviewed and depending on whether you are experiencing long-term or short-term difficulty your Supervisor will offer you solutions.

3) Keep track of all your paperwork

This may sound like an obvious one but it is all too easy to lose track of things. File all paperwork away so that it is always there at hand should you require it.

4) Address any issues as soon as they arise

If there is an issue with your IVA, bringing it to the attention of your Supervisor as soon as it has been identified is the best way to help things run smoothly and keep your IVA on track. As well as keeping them informed, should you receive contact from them please be sure to respond and reach out to any missed calls/messages.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Your IVA supervisor is there to help resolve any problems you may have and to answer any queries so do not hesitate to reach out.

What happens if your IVA fails?

If all other options have been explored and you cannot prevent breaching your IVA, resulting in the failure of it, you will be issued with a letter of termination to confirm that your IVA has come to an end.

You will no longer be protected from the actions of your creditors and you will be liable for the remaining balance of your debts. Creditors can start/resume interest charges on your debts and there is a chance that they may petition to make you bankrupt. The IVA will no longer be under the supervision of an Insolvency Practitioner and you will be responsible for liaising directly with all creditors or their representatives.

Your options following the failure of your IVA

• Propose another IVA
• Enter into a Debt Management Plan (Informal method to deal with your debts)
• Apply for a Debt Relief Order (You must have a disposable income under £50.)

Before entering into a new agreement please seek further advice to ensure you are aware of the best option for you and your given situation.

Refresh will be able to provide you with advice on this. Call 0800 121 48 63.