Debt Relief Order

FAQ

The Debt Relief Order was established in April 2009 in order to help people who cannot obtain debt relief from any other source, be it Bankruptcy, IVA or a Debt Management Plan
A debt relief order is an order you can apply for if you can’t afford to pay off your debts. It’s granted by the Insolvency Service and is a cheaper option than going bankrupt.

How do I know if a Debt Relief Order is right for me?

How much does it cost?

A Debt Relief Order will cost less than £100.

What type of debts can be included in a debt relief order?

Types of debt, known as ‘qualifying debts’ can be included in a debt relief order. These are debts such as:credit cards, overdrafts, loans
rent, utilities, telephone, council tax
benefit overpayments and social fund loans
hire purchase or conditional sale agreements ( these may involve returning goods)

What type of debts cannot be included in a debt relief order?

Certain types of debt can’t be included in a debt relief order and you must pay these separately. People you owe these debts to can still take action against you, even if you have a debt relief order. These debts include:Court fines and confiscation orders. These are fines relating to criminal activity
Child support and maintenance
Student loans.

How long will a DRC last?

A debt relief order usually lasts for a year and at the end of the year, you’ll be free of all the debts listed in the order.

Who can’t get a debt relief order?

You won’t be able to get a debt relief order if:you’re currently bankrupt
you have an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or are applying for an IVA
your creditors have applied to make you bankrupt but the hearing hasn’t yet taken place. But you might still be able to apply for a debt relief order if your creditors agree
you have been given a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order or Undertaking
you have petitioned for bankruptcy but your petition has not yet been dealt with. However, this doesn’t apply if you’ve petitioned for bankruptcy and the judge has referred you for a debt relief order instead
you have had a debt relief order in the last 6 years
you have been given a Debt Relief Restriction Order or Undertaking.

What restrictions will be placed upon a person who has a DRO?

For the duration of the Order, the debtor will be subject to similar restrictions as in bankruptcy, and their details will be on the publically available on the Individual Insolvency Register. These restrictions include the following:You must not obtain credit of £500 or more, either alone or jointly with another person, without disclosing that they are subject to a DRO to the lender.
You may not carry on a business (directly or indirectly) in a name that is different from the name under which they were granted a DRO, without telling all those with whom you do business the name under which they were granted a DRO.
You may not be involved (directly or indirectly) with the promotion, management or formation of a limited company, and may not act as a company director, without the court’s permission.
You will only be able to obtain a DRO once every six years.

Furthermore the Official Receiver will be able to apply for a Debt Relief Restrictions Order, similar to the bankruptcy restriction order, which will extend the period of restriction for up to fifteen years for debtors who are dishonest or culpable.