The main differences are that you must owe less than £20,000 and have a low disposable income (less than £50 per month after paying all your essential household expenditure). Your non-vehicle assets (including savings) can’t exceed £1,000 and your car value can’t be in excess of £1,000.
There are restrictions on the type of debts that can be included in the order. Court fines, child maintenance and student loans will not be allowed.
Debt Relief Orders are administered by the Official Receiver through the Insolvency Service. To apply for a DRO, you’ll need to contact an authorised adviser who checks whether you meet the conditions and then applies for the order on your behalf. The order will cost you £90, which can be paid in installments over six months and you won’t have to attend court.
Advantages of Debt Relief Orders
- After twelve months, all of the debts listed on the order will be written off.
- You don’t have to go to court.
- You’re protected from enforcement action by your creditors.
Disadvantages of Debt Relief Orders
- There are tight income, asset and debt restrictions on who can apply for a DRO.
- If your circumstances change, you may still be required to repay your creditors.
- Your debt relief order will appear on your credit file for six years. This may affect your ability to get credit in the future.
- You can’t promote, manage, or set up a limited company, without permission from court. Also, you can’t act as a company director, without getting permission from court.
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