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Can we start a joint IVA?

If you and your spouse/partner are both struggling with debt you may be considering a joint IVA. Technically there is no such thing as a joint IVA. However, it is possible to draw up two IVA’s which are mutually reliant. This enables two people, who each have debts (which possibly include shared debts) and shared living costs, to propose two IVAs based on one common financial statement.

These are known as “interlocking IVA’s” and are what are commonly (though not 100% accurately) referred to as a joint IVA.

Interlocking IVA’s take into account your joint income and expenditure, with any surplus disposable income forming the combined payment into the joint IVA.

Qualifying for an interlocking IVA

The criteria for each person individually in a joint IVA is the same as for a single IVA:

  • You must each have two or more creditors.

  • You must owe in excess of £10000 (£15,000 for some IVA companies).

  • You must have a reasonable amount of surplus money to offer creditors.

Calculation of joint IVA payment

When completing the financial statement for a joint IVA, the entire household income as well as the entire household expenditure will be used. This will include both of your incomes and any benefits either of you receive. This should produce a household disposable income; the figure that can be used to fund a joint IVA.

Further details of how this works can be found in our guide to IVA expenditure.

If joint IVA’s are not chosen or possible

If one partner cannot do an IVA, or indeed does not want to, it is possible for just one partner to proceed with an IVA. The other partner can proceed with another debt solution, for example a debt management plan. This can be discussed with your debt adviser or Insolvency Practitioner.

Calculating how the household disposable income will be split between an IVA and a debt management plan can appear to be complicated. In simple terms any disposable income will be split in proportion to each person’s income. This subject is described further in our IVA expenditure guidelines.

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