If you’re entering into an IVA then your chosen advisor will be able to provide you with expert help and advice every step of the way.
Before you enter into an IVA most advisors will provide you with a leaflet entitled: “Is a Voluntary Arrangement right for me?” If they don’t provide a copy then you can either ask for a copy or obtain one online. Either way, it provides very useful information and you’d be well advised to read it carefully prior to entering into an IVA since, once approved, it then becomes legally binding for the duration of the arrangement.
Thereafter, there are four key steps to setting up the IVA, namely:
Step One: This is when your chosen advisor will apply to the Court for what is known as an Interim Order. This basically prevents your creditors from making any further contact with you (i.e. by phone, post or in person), while the IVA is being set up for you. Many debtors find this initial stage a huge relief in itself since creditors are then unable to issue any legal proceedings or threaten other alternatives, such as bankruptcy.
Step Two: The second stage of the process is basically a consultation process. Although you’ll already have had initial discussions with your advisor, once the Interim Order has been applied for, he or she will want to know a lot more about your financial situation so it’s always helpful to have detailed accounts and information ready for this meeting. For example, your advisor will need to know about any assets you might have (i.e. whether you’re a home owner, own any vehicles or other possessions etc.)
Using this information your advisor will then start to devise an affordable repayment plan for you, taking into account any other financial commitments you might have (such as rent payments, child maintenance arrears and so on). Not all debt types can be incorporated into an IVA so there will be a lot of careful negotiation with other creditors who can’t be included in the IVA to ensure you can offer a monthly repayment that also takes into account any other commitments you might have.
Step Three: Once you’ve discussed all your financial commitments your advisor will start to put a proposal together for onward submission to your creditors. This will include a full financial settlement and reasons why your creditors should agree to an IVA.
Step Four: The final step of the IVA process is the creditors’ meeting. This is when your creditors will either agree (or disagree) to the proposals put forward by your advisor. Your advisor will recommend that you attend this meeting so that you can answer any specific questions they might have. If enough creditors vote in favor of the proposal then this is reported to the Court and the IVA can begin. If, on the other hand, the proposal is rejected then your advisor will start to discuss other debt alternatives with you.