What is the IVA register?

Alphabetical file organiser register

If debts mount up, it may sometimes be necessary for an individual to use certain legal procedures to restructure how they pay those debts back. One of these options is called an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). You can read more in-depth information on how IVAs work in our article about the process, but an IVA is essentially an agreement between creditors and someone who owes them money.

It means someone in debt can repay it on a more realistic schedule without creditors being able to take legal action for the duration of the agreement.

An IVA is an insolvency solution, alongside Debt Relief Orders (DROs) and bankruptcy, for people who cannot repay their debts. Insolvency solutions have long-term consequences for your finances and your ability to access credit, so they should not be entered into lightly. It is worth getting free impartial advice from a service like the National Debtline, to see if there are any other options.

IVAs are available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not in Scotland. For more information on the Scottish equivalent of IVAs, you can read this page on Protected Trust Deeds.

What is the IVA register?

The IVA register is actually part of the Individual Insolvency Register, which records various types of insolvency, including DROs and bankruptcy. It is a public register and as such can be searched by anyone, including lenders, landlords and employers. The Insolvency Service is obliged by law to maintain the register, so that there is a transparent record of individuals that are insolvent.

This information might be used by lenders to check if someone who has applied for credit has had trouble repaying loans in the past. It will also be used by credit reference agencies to get a full picture of an individual’s credit history. It will then be recorded on their credit report and may affect their credit score. Credit reports are used by lenders to get an insight into an individual’s creditworthiness and being on the Individual Insolvency Register will be part of this.

Searching the register can be done online and is free to use, all that is required is the name or trading name of the individual involved. It can also be searched in person at a local branch of the official receiver’s office.

What details are held on the IVA register and for how long?

Details on the register include the name of the individual involved in the IVA, as well as their last known address, gender, and date of birth. The reason these details are necessary is to avoid cases of mistaken identity, for example, with people with the same name or date of birth.

The register will also include the start date, which is the date all of an individual’s creditors agreed to the IVA, and the name of the insolvency practitioner who is supervising the agreement.

Details of an IVA will remain on the Insolvency Register for three months after the agreement has been completed, revoked or terminated. Completion means all payments have been made for the duration of the agreement and an IVA is revoked when the original decision to approve it is reversed. Termination occurs when an individual fails to keep up with the repayment schedule and the legal protection offered by the agreement ends.

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