IVA - the facts
Firstly, we should point out that an IVA is not the only way to solve a debt problem but if you owe more than £7,000 in unsecured debts to two or more companies (eg, credit, store or debit cards, overdrafts or personal loans, not a mortgage), and have a monthly surplus of over £50 then IVA could be an option.
So what exactly is an IVA?
An IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is a private legal agreement between you and your creditors, where you pay back what you can realistically afford with the remaining debt being written off by your creditors. Normally lasting five years, the agreement covers all of your unsecured debts, including loans, credit cards, catalogues, store cards, overdrafts etc.In general, our clients typically:
- have unsecured debts of more than £7,000
- have more than two different unsecured creditors
- are not reliant on welfare benefit income only
Grant Thornton views the IVA as a flexible financial plan which is designed to revolve around your needs and puts you back in control.
What are the fees for an IVA?
Whilst we are a commercial organisation, we do not charge any up-front fees in respect of debt advice provided to you. However, if you enter into an IVA which is approved by your creditors, we will receive payment from the amounts contributed by you into the IVA.
If, following a review of your circumstances, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement is the most appropriate (or your preferred) solution for resolving your over-indebtedness, we will accept your instruction and we will assist you with drafting a proposal to your creditors.
There are two fees which will need to be paid as part of your IVA, known as Nominee and Supervisor fees. As part of your proposal there will be a fixed fee together with disbursements for acting as nominee (assisting you in the drafting of the proposal, reporting to creditors and convening and conducting the creditors' meeting). The supervisor's fees and disbursements (for administering the approved arrangement) will be calculated on the basis set out in your approved proposal (typically a fixed percentage of funds paid into the arrangement), and will be drawn from such funds paid into the arrangement.
Please note that the fee and disbursements will be drawn from the funds paid into the arrangement after your proposal has been approved by you and your creditors. It is not an additional cost to you and if your proposal is not approved by you and your creditors, no fees and disbursements will be payable.
If following the initial review, you do not proceed with an IVA, no costs will be incurred and we will recommend that you contact a debt counselling organisation which does not charge fees for advice provided in relation to other debt solutions.
Please be aware that:
- if the IVA fails, there is a risk of bankruptcy;
- there are certain restrictions on the level of allowable expenditure if you enter into an IVA or a Protected Trust Deed;
- your creditors may not approve the proposed IVA ;
- only unsecured debts included in the arrangement may be discharged at the end of the period - you could remain liable for unsecured debts not included;
- if you own a home you may need to release equity from its value to pay off debts;
- any remortgage may attract higher interest rates and, if a remortgage is not available, an IVA may need to be extended for 12 months.
Further information regarding the treatment of properties in an IVA can be found by clicking the following link.