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Where to go for an IVA

By: Emma Eilbeck BA (hons) - Updated: 23 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Iva Individual Voluntary Arrangement

Individual Voluntary Arrangements are rapidly growing in popularity with an increasing number of people finding themselves in financial difficulty, many are opting for the IVA route over the bankruptcy one.

Who are IVAs Suitable For?

IVAs are most suitable for people who have some means of paying back a debt, if you are not in work or cannot see yourself realistically paying back your debt then you might want to consider an alternative to the IVA route.

Where to Go

Your first port of call should be your Creditors, don’t just assume that because you cannot pay back your debt at the current rates, that they will not be able to help you. You may be able to come to some form of informal agreement with them which means you will be able to pay back a proportion of your debts over a longer period of time, or at reduced payments. Remember, it does not benefit your creditors to NOT get their money back, so any way that they can gain it back will be of use.

Your second route in the IVA process should be to go to your local debt charity, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and seek debt management advice for free. You may also be able to seek advice over the phone, so it is worth seeing which local debt charities are in your local area, as many of these will be able to offer you advice without charging.

What are IVA Providers?

You will see lots of IVA providers advertising on the daytime television and the internet. They will discuss with your creditors the best way for you to pay back your debts without you having to declare yourself Bankrupt. This is of benefit to your creditors as they will get some of your money back, and if benefits the IVA firm because they are able to charge for helping you. Some individual voluntary arrangement firms will charge more than others, and while some may say they offer you free advice, they will often charge you for something else, so it is important that you make sure you are aware of all the costs. It is best to go to a firm that is well known or that has been recommended to you by a financial adviser. It can be hard to know which firm to choose and trust with your finances, so it is important that you seek financial advice. A lot of financial advisers will offer their advice for free, so it will not cost you anything to get their advice, they will then earn their money by getting commission for the referral.

What will They Ask Me?

The IVA company will delve into all aspects of your financial situation. You will need to have all the information available and be prepared to tell them everything. Documentation you need to take, may include:
  • Payslips
  • Bills & invoices
  • Bank, building society statements
  • Details of any savings, shares etc
  • Details of your expenses including food, rent, travel expenses and so on
Deciding whether to take out an IVA is a very important decision, so it is essential that you seek professional advice. Alot of firms will charge high fees for getting you out of debt, which is not what you need. It is always better to try and Speak to your Creditors yourself first and be honest with them about your troubles, you should only go to an Individual voluntary arrangement provider if you have exhausted all other routes.

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