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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland only

Getting an IVA

Insolvency practitioners and your IVA

Insolvency practitioners manage insolvency solutions like individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs). They set up and manage your IVA for you.

IVAs are arranged by StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, part of StepChange Debt Charity.

What is an insolvency practitioner?

Insolvency practitioners (IPs) are qualified personal insolvency professionals.

  • They may work independently, or
  • They may be part of a company that offers lots of solutions

Your IP oversees every stage of your IVA from start to finish.

You have to complete some of the paperwork yourself, but:

  • Your IP takes responsibility for your case
  • They do everything they can to make your IVA a success

Clare Lindley and James O'Carroll of StepChange Voluntary Arrangements are licensed to act as insolvency practitioners in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association.

Get free and impartial debt advice to make sure an IVA is right for you.

Find out if an IVA is right for you

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Thinking about an IVA?

We can help. Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Can I manage an IVA myself?

You cannot set up an IVA by yourself.

You need an IP to take an IVA proposal to your creditors for you. Find out more about managing an IVA.

How do I choose an insolvency practitioner for my IVA?

1. Find someone to work with

StepChange Voluntary Arrangements have been managing IVAs for years, but you do not have to work with us after debt advice.

You can also:

  • Ask us to recommend a trusted IP
  • Find an IP on GOV.UK

Find out more about how IVA companies work.

2. Understand the costs

All IVAs have costs and fees.

StepChange IVA costs and fees follow industry standards.

IVA fees vary between companies, so compare them before choosing.

  • IP fees are deducted from your monthly payments
  • This does not affect how long it takes to repay your debts

Learn more about the fees for setting up and running an IVA.

IVAs are arranged by StepChange Voluntary Arrangements, part of StepChange Debt Charity. In Scotland, a protected trust deed is a similar solution. This has different benefits, risks and fees.

What does an insolvency practitioner do?

The IP does a few things during your IVA.

1. They act as an advisor and help finalise the terms of your IVA

2. They become your Nominee

  • At this stage they have legal duties
  • They draft a proposal to your creditors
  • They arrange a meeting of creditors
  • They tell the people you owe if they think your IVA will work
  • They talk to you about any "modifications" the people you owe request
  • They tell the people you owe if you agree
  • They cannot be influenced by you or the people you owe

3. They become the Supervisor of your IVA

  • This is after your IVA is approved
  • They review your IVA at least once a year
  • They collect your payments
  • They pass payments to the people you owe
  • They make sure you stick to the terms of the IVA
  • They are responsible for cancelling your IVA if you ask to

Your IP usually acts as both the Nominee and Supervisor.

This means you deal with the same organisation throughout your IVA.

Do I need to meet with my insolvency practitioner?

You talk with a StepChange VA advisor before setting up your IVA to make sure it is the right thing for you.

Different IPs may have an informal meeting with you to discuss the same thing.

This meeting can either be:

  • Over the phone (most common)
  • At their office (if you ask for it)

You have another meeting when you decide to go ahead. This starts the formal process of setting up the IVA.

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Thinking about an IVA?

We can help. Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Do I need to tell my insolvency practitioner about changes in my financial situation?

Yes, tell your IP of any changes to your finances during your IVA.

You may need to change your payment plan.

Most IVAs contain a ‘windfall clause’.

This means you have to put any sudden, unexpected money into your IVA, like:

  • An inheritance or
  • A bonus at work

Read more tips on keeping an IVA running smoothly.

What if I have a problem with my insolvency practitioner?

You may not agree with your IP about how to handle your IVA.

  • Write to your IP, explaining the problem or grievance
  • Write to the IP's regulatory body if you do not like their response

Get advice you can trust before you go ahead with an IVA

Use our online debt advice tool to find out if an IVA is right for you.

StepChange Voluntary Arrangements is a registered trading name of Consumer Credit Counselling Service Voluntary Arrangements Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of StepChange Debt Charity.