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i This solution is only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What is a DRO

What is a debt relief order (DRO)?

A DRO is a form of insolvency that can help you to write off debt that you’re unable to repay in a reasonable amount of time.

A debt relief order (DRO) is only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you live in Scotland you might be able to apply for bankruptcy using the minimal asset process (MAP). This is a similar solution, but it's important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

Is a DRO suitable for you?

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Considering a DRO?

We can help with free, impartial debt advice online now.

Get debt help

Can I apply for a debt relief order?

To apply for a DRO you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You need to reside in England. Wales or Northern Ireland, or have done business in one of these countries in the last three years
  • Your debts add up to less than £30,000 (£20,000 in Northern Ireland)
  • You’re not a homeowner
  • Your assets are worth less than £2,000 (£1,000 in Northern Ireland) – though you can own a motor vehicle worth up to £2,000 in addition to this (£1,000 in Northern Ireland)
  • You have less than £75 a month left over after you’ve paid all of your living costs (£50 in Northern Ireland)

Read our guide to find out if you qualify for a DRO.

How does a DRO work?

You need to apply for a DRO through one of the organisations approved by the Insolvency Service.

If your DRO is approved, payments to your debts are put on hold for 12 months and your creditors cannot take any action to collect the debts during this time, although interest and charges can still be added. If after the 12 months your circumstances haven't improved, then all of your debts included in the DRO are written off.

If during the 12 month period your DRO is cancelled (revoked), your creditors can pursue the debt again, with interest and charges added. You would then need to consider what other repayment options are available to you.

Your DRO be recorded on your credit file for six years from the date it's approved.

How much does it cost to get a debt relief order?

A DRO costs £90. You pay the fee directly to the Insolvency Service and you can’t submit your DRO application until the fee is completely paid.

Get free online DRO advice and support

Use our online debt advice service which will suggest the best debt solution. Alternatively you can ring our advisors (free from all landlines and mobiles).