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How will a DRO affect me

Debt relief order. The moratorium period for debts

You start a 12 month moratorium period when you get a debt relief order (DRO). All the debts in your DRO are written off at the end.

A moratorium is an agreed period of time when you do not have to make payments towards your debts while you get help.

You must meet the criteria for a debt relief order throughout these 12 months.

Your DRO could be cancelled if your situation changes, like an increase in income.

  • Tell the official receiver (OR) about any changes
  • You may need to find another debt solution
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What changes could affect my DRO?

You may no longer meet the criteria for a DRO if things get better during the 12 months.

Like if your monthly disposable income is more than £75.

This could be because:

  • You start a new or better paid job
  • You get a pay rise
  • Your benefits increase

Small changes in income should not affect your DRO. Contact the Insolvency Service if you have any concerns.

They will:

  • Review your budget
  • See if you still meet the criteria for your DRO

What if I get a lump sum of money during the DRO moratorium period?

DROs are granted because:

  • You do not have enough money to pay off your debts
  • You do not have assets to pay off your debts

Getting a lump sum of cash or a valuable asset may affect your DRO.

You must report it to the official receiver if you get a lump sum during the DRO period.

  • They will consider the case based on your personal situation
  • They may cancel the DRO if the lump sum is over £2,000 in value

Lump sums could come from:

  • An inheritance
  • Winning the lottery
  • Compensation from an accident
  • Backdated benefit payments
  • PPI reclaims

Your DRO will not be cancelled if the lump sum or asset you get is:

  • Less than £1,000, or
  • Worth less than 50% of the total amount of debt you owe

You must tell the Insolvency Service DRO Team within 14 days of getting it. They will cancel your DRO if they found out about it from someone else.

Find out more about assets and debt relief orders.

When will I know my DRO moratorium period has ended?

You are not told the moratorium has ended.

Look up your DRO end date on the Individual Insolvency Register.

This shows you:

  • The date the DRO was approved
  • The date the moratorium is due to end

Find out more about the DRO moratorium period.

Can I get proof that my DRO is complete?

The Individual Insolvency Register has a copy of your entry. It shows the date when the moratorium ends.

You can prove your DRO has ended by printing off this copy.

The public record of your DRO is accessible for three months after the end date.

  • The record is then removed
  • Contact the Insolvency Service for help after this date

Find out more about what happens after a debt relief order.

The people I owe do not accept that my DRO has ended – what can I do?

The people you owe may try to collect a debt that was included in your DRO. This is rare.

  • You do not have to pay them
  • You can challenge any attempt to collect the debt

Send them a printed copy of your Individual Insolvency Register entry.

If they continue to demand payment:

  • Make a complaint
  • Contact their regulator or ombudsman if necessary

The people you owe can can keep asking you to pay some debts, like:

These debts are not included in a DRO.

They can also keep collecting a debt that was fraudulent. Like benefit fraud.

Creditors included in your DRO:

  • Cannot take action to recover money you owe, but
  • They can still take action to recover assets in some cases

For example:

  • A landlord could evict you after your DRO ends because of rent arrears
    • Even though they could not take any action to collect the arrears from you
  • You may want to keep paying the debt so you can still live there

Find out more about creditors and DROs.

Get free debt help online now

Use our online debt advice tool to:

  • Put together a budget, and
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