So, you joined the sky-rocking numbers of consumers who today use an IVA. Except things aren’t going exactly to plan. For whatever reason, you’re unhappy.
Here’s what you should do now (and what you really need to be aware of before going ahead and cancelling your IVA for good).
Why you may be unhappy with your IVA
There are many reasons why you may not be happy with your IVA, including, but limited to, the following situations…
Your circumstances have changed – such as where your income has fallen or expenses have increased, and you can no longer afford your repayments. In this instance you should speak with your IVA provider as soon as possible, as they may be able to re-negotiate the IVA repayment plan.
You may have come to a late decision that an IVA isn’t the most suitable debt solution for your needs – in this case it’s important to have an alternative plan to action following the cancellation of your IVA.
You might be unhappy with your IVA provider – in this instance you can either transfer your IVA to another provider, or you can cancel it and start afresh.
How to cancel your IVA
If you’ve thoroughly researched your options and have spoken with your IVA provider, cancelling your IVA is relatively straightforward.
First, you will cancel your monthly IVA payment by asking your bank to cancel the standing order (or you may be able to do this with your telephone or online banking).
Second, you should confirm that you want to cancel the IVA in writing – sending this either by post or by email to your IVA provider. They’ll then begin a process known as ‘failing the IVA arrangement’.
Once your IVA has failed, you’ll receive a written notification. At this point, as you’re no longer using an IVA, you can expect your details to be removed from the Insolvency Register.
An IVA typically takes around three months to fail (this usually occurs after three monthly repayments have been missed). Over this time period you will still enjoy the protection from your creditors that an IVA provides.
Cancelling your IVA: key questions
“What happens to the money that I’ve paid into an IVA after I’ve cancelled it?”
Following the cancellation of your IVA, your Independent Provider will likely take their fees and costs from the balance you’ve paid so far. Following this, any money that remains will be sent to your creditors.
Unless you’re a significant way into your IVA, you’ll likely have considerable balances left to pay – for which you’ll be 100% liable.
Because of this, you must ensure that you have a plan moving forwards as to how you’ll deal with your debt. For most, the two main options are a Debt Management Plan or Bankruptcy. However you are also free to start a new IVA if you so wish.
“If I cancel my IVA, will I have to go bankrupt?”
Many IVA users are concerned that cancelling an IVA automatically means that they’ll be forced into bankruptcy. However this is a relatively rare situation, and usually creditors have very little to gain from this manoeuvre.
It’s far more common for creditors to begin their collection processes again – such as using a debt collector or taking you to court.
There is a single exception to this however, and that’s with debts owing to HMRC. In this instance, you may have had to adhere to terms in the IVA that you’ll meet certain obligations, otherwise HMRC will petition for your bankruptcy.
If a HMRC debt has been included in your IVA, check the terms of your IVA and seek suitable independent advice.
That said, for some people bankruptcy may be the most sensible and suitable debt solution.
This article by Darren Burgess first appeared on National Debt Help UK and was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.