5 questions every IVA client asks

This page contains information about debt solutions available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Debt advice in Scotland involves similar but different solutions. Before considering an IVA as a debt solution, please make sure you fully understand the risks involved when entering an IVA.

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Your top 5 questions

Getting an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) put together and accepted by your creditors may have been challenging for you. It’s often a great relief when your IVA is approved. However you probably still have questions that pop up every now and again about your IVA.

In light of this we’ve put together the answers to our five most asked questions. If we haven’t included your number one question, have a look at when to call StepChangeVA for more handy tips to help.

Whether you’re just at the start or near the end of your IVA we’re here to help support you in successfully completing your IVA.

1. What do I do if I receive additional income?

This includes for example, overtime, bonuses, commission and back pay.

You will be able to earn 10% more than the net income shown in your last agreed budget and not worry about contacting us.

You would also be allowed to retain 50% of anything over the 10% threshold and you would be required to pay 50% into the IVA.

Not all IVAs are standard and if you’re unsure of your additional income clause it’s best to check the IVA proposal, the standard terms and conditions and any modifications made to it by creditors. If you’re still unsure contact StepChangeVA for more advice.

Under the terms of the IVA any additional money you receive after the approval date are due to the IVA.

Also remember that at annual review we need to see your wage slips; we’re duty bound to make sure you pay the right amount into the IVA.

If you’re unsure of anything call your Supervisory caseworker.

2. What do I do if my creditors keep contacting me?

Once your IVA is approved creditors are legally bound not to contact you anymore. However, we usually allow up to three months for creditors to completely update all their records.

If creditors are still contacting you after three months, by letter or phone, you should give our Supervisory team a ring to advise you on the best course of action.

During the lifetime of your IVA you may still receive annual statements. However, the balances on these statements may not accurately reflect the amount claimed in your IVA. Remember to file any future creditor correspondence for your own records.

If a creditor writes to you saying that the debt has been sold to another company (or is being administered by another company) please forward this to us as soon as possible, to allow us to contact them regarding your IVA.

3. What do I do if creditors are still adding interest?

The creditors should cease any interest and charges once the IVA is approved.

You may still get statements from creditors showing interest and charges from being added. This is usually to do with the internal systems of creditors and it is nothing for you to worry about.

4. Have I been mis-sold an IVA?

If you receive any letters or telephone calls from companies or individuals who tell you that you may have been mis-sold an IVA then beware.

Often such companies are selling a service such as charging a fee for advising you about an application for bankruptcy.  If bankruptcy was a suitable option for you we would be able to offer this advice free of charge.

If you do get any calls we would advise you not to divulge any details. If you get any letters we’d recommend that you forward these to us. We will be able to discuss any issues that you are concerned about.

These companies usually get your details from the Insolvency Register (which is searchable online). They also charge fees for services that we provide free of charge.

5. Can I reclaim PPI?

Yes, you can reclaim any mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) but any monies received from a PPI claim would be due back into your IVA for the benefit of creditors.

In the result of a successful PPI claim we may allow you to keep some money if you provide evidence why this is needed. Contact your Supervisory caseworker for more details.

If you’re not a client but are looking to start an IVA please read our new guide to individual voluntary arrangements.

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