Being in a Debt Management Plan (DMP) should in itself not prevent you from offering proposals for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) to your creditors.
If you are not insolvent the question does not arise, since under the 1986 Insolvency Act you must be insolvent before you can do an IVA. Many people who are currently in a Debt Management Plan are not insolvent, in spite of the financial difficulties they may be encountering.
The second barrier to entering an IVA is that while this financial solution is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is not available in Scotland or the Republic of Ireland. For Scotland the broadly equivalent insolvency solution is a Trust Deed. For the Republic of Ireland there is no financial solution remotely like an IVA. Under European Regulations, it might be possible for you to enter an IVA provided that you live in a member state of the European Union and have your ‘Centre of Main Interests’ in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
While no official figures are available, a figure of 700,000 has been quoted as the number of people in the UK who are currently in a Debt Management Plan. Some of these are self administered but it is estimated that most are administered by Debt Management Plan providers who specialize in debt management.
If you want to investigate whether an IVA or indeed some other financial solution might be more appropriate for your circumstances, then you should contact a reputable provider of insolvency services. Such a provider should be able to establish fairly quickly whether you are insolvent or not. If you are insolvent, then you should consider the full range of financial solutions, including petitioning for bankruptcy or entering an IVA. If you are not insolvent, it may be that you might better be able to address your financial problems by for example, re-mortgaging your property and using the released equity to clear your debts or reduce them to manageable levels.
A reputable provider of insolvency services will not charge you for advice in relation to your options. Your current debt management company may well have the expertise in house to review your circumstances and advise you appropriately. In any case, you may want a second opinion before you decide to stay in your current Debt Management Plan or leave it for that matter. It cannot hurt to consider changing the status quo particularly because of the lengthy timescale of most debt management plans.
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