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Administration order. What is it?

An administration order is a repayment plan arranged by the County Court.

Administration orders are only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland there are other options available to help you deal with your debts.

To apply for an administration order you need to have:

  • less than £5,000 debt in total, and
  • received at least one court judgment.

An administration order is legally binding on your creditors and gives you protection from them. The creditors included in the order can’t contact you for payment or add any more interest or charges to your debts once the administration order has been approved.

Administration orders used to be very common but they’re rarely used nowadays. Most people who would qualify for an administration order now find a debt relief order is a cheaper and more appropriate debt solution.

Is an administration order right for you?

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How an administration order works

First, you fill in an N92 court form listing your income, expenses and debts, and take this to the court.

The court may ask you to attend a hearing where a judge will decide whether to grant an administration order and how much your payment will be. If your case looks straightforward the court may make a decision without a hearing.

The payment you’d make each month to the administration order is the amount you have left after paying for all your priority debts, like essential bills and living costs.

If the administration order is agreed you’ll make one payment to the court instead of paying your creditors directly. The court will then arrange to pass the money on to your creditors.

In England or Wales, if you’re working, the court may take the payment straight from your wages using an attachment of earnings.

There’s no court fee to set up an administration order, but the court will keep 10% of each payment you make.

If you can only afford a small amount towards your debts, you can apply for a ‘composition order’. This sets a date for the administration order to end, often after three years. When you reach this date your creditors write off any remaining debt. The court will only consider this if your payment won't clear the debts in a reasonable amount of time.

If the court doesn’t set a composition order, your administration order will continue until your debts are paid in full.

How will an administration order affect my credit file?

An administration order will appear on your credit file for six years from the date of the order. It also appears on the public Register of Judgments for six years. During this time you’ll find it much harder to take out any further credit.

What happens if my circumstances change during the administration order?

You can write to the court and ask to alter the payment or cancel the administration order. You may need to go to a hearing to arrange this.

What debts can I include in an administration order?

In theory, all of your debts can be included in the order. But sometimes a Judge may leave out some debts. This is most likely to happen with debts such as council tax arrears or criminal fines.

A creditor can object to being in the order and ask the court to leave them out. If this happens, the court will call a hearing to decide whether its fair to leave the debt in the order.

Free debt advice

We provide free, impartial debt advice to hundreds of thousands of people every year. We can assess your situation and see if an administration order is the best way to deal with your debts.

If it's not we'll give you plenty of advice on what is. And we can help you do this in around 20 minutes by going through our online Debt Remedy tool.

If you'd prefer to speak to us call our Helpline (free from all landlines and mobiles) and speak to one of our expert advisors.

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