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Debt Relief Order

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is an alternative to bankruptcy aimed at people with no assets and a low income with no other access to debt relief and no prospect of the situation improving.

If you do have assets or there is a possibility of an improvement in your financial circumstances, a DRO is not an appropriate solution and other debt solutions may be available.

A DRO is a considerably cheaper option than bankruptcy. It currently costs £90 to apply for a DRO, which must be paid to the Official Receiver before the application will be considered.

A DRO usually lasts for 12 months, during which time creditors named on the order are prevented from trying to recover the debts without the permission of the court. After 12 months, if your circumstances have not changed, you will be freed from the debts that were included in the order.


Who can apply for a DRO

To apply for a DRO, you must meet certain conditions:

  • You must be unable to pay your debts
  • You must owe less than £20,000
  • You can own a car to the value of £1,000 but the total value of other assets must not exceed £1,000
  • After taking away tax, national insurance contributions and normal household expenses, your disposable income must be no more than £50 a month
  • You must be domiciled (living) in England or Wales, or at some time in the last 3 years have been living or carrying out business in England or Wales
  • You must not have been subject to another DRO within the last 6 years
  • You must not be involved in another formal insolvency procedure at the time you apply

What should I do if I think a DRO may be a suitable solution for my debts?

A Debt Relief Order is a serious matter with similar restrictions being placed on the debtor as in a Bankruptcy Order. It is therefore crucial you receive advice on your suitability for a DRO and whether it is an appropriate solution to your debts.

When you contact Bridgewood we will fully assess your situation and consider what solutions are available to help you. If a DRO is the most appropriate solution for you we will provide further information and advice on how, and where, you can apply for one.

Alternatively further information on Debt Relief Orders can be found via the Money Advice Service Website.

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