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Debt Relief Orders

Debt Relief Orders were introduced in 2009 to provide a more straightforward alternative to bankruptcy for those with relatively low debt levels and little ability to make payments towards the debts. A DRO is not available to residents of Scotland.

To qualify an individual’s debts must be less than £20,000 in total. An assessment of their circumstances must demonstrate that they are not in a position to pay more than £50 per month towards the debts. The value of their assets must be below £1,000 - though in addition a car valued up to £1000 is also generally acceptable. You cannot access a DRO if you are a homeowner.

The fee for a Debt Relief Order is £90 – this is much lower than the bankruptcy application fee.

Your qualifying debts will be frozen for a period of one year during which no further interest will be added. After the year has ended, and assuming you are still not in a position to repay the debts within a reasonable timeframe, they will be written off entirely.

Entering a DRO will have a very serious effect on your credit rating. It will also be recorded on a public register.

To get the process underway you will need to contact an approved Debt Relief Order intermediary. We would suggest that you initially contact the Money Advice Service which can direct you towards an appropriate source of assistance.

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IVA Advice Forum Advisor Kelly Jago IVA Advice Forum Expet Susan Clay IVA Advice Forum Expert Beverley Budsworth

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