Choosing an insolvency practitioner
If you choose to manage your debts by going down the path of an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement), you will need to get in touch with an insolvency practitioner to help you set it up.
Insolvency practitioners are often referred to simply as IPs. These individuals are normally accountants who have undergone the relevant training and qualifications to allow them to practice as insolvency practitioners.
An insolvency practitioner is somebody who is legally permitted to act on behalf of an insolvent person or organisation. To be an IP you must be fully licensed and have passed the JIEB (insolvency exam), they must also have gone through work experience with insolvency areas of practice and must have also been authorised by a regulatory organisation.
In addition to being able to organise IVAs, insolvency practitioners are also qualified to deal with other insolvency related processes.
These include things such as liquidations, administration and bankruptcies among others.
In This Guide:
- Can I set up an IVA on my own?
- Finding the right ip for you
- IVA fees
- First consultation with your insolvency practitioner
Can I set up an IVA on my own?
If you are trying to set up an individual voluntary arrangement, you will need to employ the services of an insolvency practitioner. Once you have done this they will act as your representative and deal with negotiations between you and your lenders over the terms of your IVA. Insolvency practitioners must have gone through a series of qualifications before they are considered to be fully licensed, generally speaking they will have a background in either law or accountancy.
Finding the right ip for you
There are a couple of ways in which you can go about finding yourself an insolvency practitioner. One way to do this is by visiting the insolvency service website (www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov). Alternatively you can get in touch with your local court and find out the contact information of your local Official Receiver, they may be able to advise you on an appropriate candidate.
Your insolvency practitioner will charge you a fee and the amount that they quote you will vary from firm to firm. It is for this reason that it is a good idea to ask around and get a number of different quotes before you sign up the services of any given company. Just like with any marketplace it is advisable to get a good idea of what's on offer before your spend your money on anything.
Insolvency practitioners will normally charge you a set up fee that goes towards the cost of them organising your IVA. They will then have a monthly rate that covers the costs of them managing your IVA for its duration. You should try to be on the lookout for firms that offer low cost opening consultations and lower monthly charges, this way you'll be able to put more of your income towards actually paying off your debt.
First consultation with your insolvency practitioner
Before you decide whether or not an IVA is the right option for you, it might be a good idea to go to a consultation with an insolvency practitioner. This can either happen over the phone or sometimes you will go into their office in person - this will depend on the firm and also on your preference. After this meeting it is likely that you will be better placed to decide on whether or not you would like to go down the route of setting up an individual voluntary arrangement.
You should be aware of the fact that your IP is legally required to present you with alternatives to an IVA and to make you understand the possible risks associated with each of those potential paths.