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What’s the IVA register?

Posted 21 March 2017

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IVAs are recorded on the Insolvency Register so that there is a public record of insolvencies which can be checked by creditors.

If you go ahead with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), your details are added to an online list of people on IVAs, which is part of the Insolvency register. This happens with all IVAs, as well as the other formal solutions available, Debt Relief Orders and Bankruptcy.

Trust Deeds are available in Scotland and offer many of the same benefits for people in debt as IVAs do in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own register of insolvencies which you can learn more about with our previous blog.

So why do your details have to be on this register? And what is it used for? We’ll explain how it all works.

What is the Register?

All the IVAs in the country are recorded on the Insolvency Register and this is managed by The Insolvency Service.

An IVA is technically a way to deal with insolvency, which either means that your debts are worth more than your assets, or that you’re not able to repay your debts when they are due.

This is a publicly accessible register, which means that anyone can access it, however it’s mainly used by creditors, credit reference agencies and the people involved in the running of IVAs.

If you enter an IVA, the date that you signed the agreement is recorded on the register as well as the date that your plan is due to end. Your name, date of birth, gender and address are also be listed on the register.

You won’t stay on this register forever. Once you finish your IVA, your Insolvency Practitioner will request that your details are taken off and it normally takes three months for this to happen.

What if I don’t want people to know where I live?

There are some exceptional cases when it would be dangerous for your personal details to be listed on the register. For example, if you were at risk of violence or abuse from an ex-partner – or anyone that might intend to cause you harm. In these circumstances, it is possible for you to ask to keep your details off the register.

You will need to explain to your Insolvency Practitioner why you want your details left off the register and they will look into whether this is possible or not.

What if I don’t want people knowing about my IVA?

It’s unlikely that anyone will find out about your IVA unless you tell them yourself. Your Insolvency Practitioner will definitely treat your IVA as confidential and won’t tell anyone apart from your creditors about it, unless you give them permission to talk to someone on your behalf.

As we mentioned earlier, the register is publicly accessible, and anyone can search it – but someone would have to have a reason to search for you to begin with.

If you have any joint debts included on the plan, it’s possible the lender in question will tell the person you share the debt with that you’re not making the contractual payments anymore. With joint debts you are both joint and severally liable, which means you’re both responsible for 100% of the debt – not just 50%. So if one person stops contributing, or can’t contribute anymore, the creditor can then contact the other person and ask them to pay all of the outstanding money.

The person you share the debt with may not find out that you’re on an IVA specifically, but as we said they may find out that you’re not making your full, contractual payments anymore.

The next step

Hopefully, you now have an understanding of what the Insolvency Register is and why it’s necessary. The important things to remember are that it’s there for an important reason and you won’t stay on it forever.

If you think that you need to start a debt solution to solve your debt problems, it’s important that you get professional advice to help you identify the right option for you. You can contact one of our trained debt advisors today by using one of the options at the top of the page. If you want to learn a bit more about how IVAs work before you give us a call, then our full guide to IVAs will answer all your questions.


by Christine Walsh

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