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What is the Individual Insolvency Register?

Posted 27 October 2016

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If you start a solution to deal with insolvency, your details will appear on the Individual Insolvency Register. Learn more here.

If you’re struggling to repay what you owe and you’ve been looking into debt solutions to help, you may have come across the term Individual Insolvency Register and wondered exactly what it is. In today’s blog, we’ll explain what this is and why your details have to be recorded on it with some debt solutions. 

What is it?

The Individual Insolvency Register is simply a record of all the people who have started a formal insolvency solution in England and Wales. There are separate registers for people who are insolvent in Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

If you’re not able to pay your debts when they’re due, or your assets are worth less than your debts, then you are considered to be insolvent. You don’t have to deal with being insolvent by starting a formal solution. For instance, you might be able to start a Debt Management Plan (DMP), which is an informal plan to repay your debts in a way that’s affordable for you. If you start this kind of informal plan, then your details aren’t put on the Insolvency Register. 

The register shows the details of formal debt solutions, like when it started and when it’s due to end. It also gives your name, address, date of birth and who is dealing with your insolvency. 

If you have a bankruptcy restriction order or Debt Relief Order restriction, then this is recorded on the register too. If you get a restriction order, it means that you’ve broken one of the rules surrounding your debt solution and because of that, they have been extended. You details will stay on the register for however long the restriction order is in place. 

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What is it used for?

Even though the Individual Insolvency Register is publicly accessible, it’s mainly used by professionals involved in the running of solutions that deal with insolvency and creditors. So if your insolvency practitioner or Trustee wanted to check that they had a detail right about your case, they can check the register. 

It is possible for someone else to find your details on the register, but they would have to have a reason to search for your name in the first place. 

Will I stay on the register forever?

Your details won’t stay on the Insolvency Register forever – only for as long as your debt solution goes on for. 

Your details are normally removed three months after your debt solution ends. Those three months are just to allow time for the administration work it takes to remove your details. 

Which debt solutions show on the register?

There are three debt solutions designed to deal with insolvency in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA) and Debt Relief Orders (DRO). They all work slightly differently, so what’s right for one person might not be right for another. 

For example, IVAs involve you paying towards your debts for a set time period and then the rest of your debt is written off. On the other hand Debt Relief Orders are only suitable for those who cannot afford to put anything towards their debts. You may have to put something towards your debts with bankruptcy – it just depends on what your Trustee decides. 

All these solutions involve some debt write-off, and they will all cause some damage to your credit history. This means that in the future you may find it more difficult to borrow or to get services, or that you have to borrow at a more expensive rate of interest. 

Is there any way to stay off the register?

There are some cases where your details can be left off the register. For example, if there’s a chance that you could be at risk of violence from someone, then it is possible to apply for your details to be left off. You can learn more about this in this blog

If you’re not sure about your situation and which solution is right for you, the best way to find out is to seek expert debt advice. There are various debt charities that can help you, as well as our debt advisors. 

It’s vital that you start the debt solution that’s right for you, as starting the wrong one can have a negative effect on your life. If a debt advisor recommends a formal debt solution which means that your details will be on the register, it’s important that you understand why it is the best option for you. 

Just scroll down to the options at the bottom of the page and you can contact our advisors when it’s convenient for you. They can work out exactly how much you have spare to put towards your debts each month, and recommend which solution is right for you. 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.