Chartered Accountant
Licensed Insolvency Practitioner

41 Kingston Street, Cambridge CB1 2NU
Tel: 0800 1953605 (Free call) or 01223 367022
Fax: 0844 5048737


My partner and I both have debts, some joint.  Can we do a joint IVA ?

If you have joint debts, then you are both liable for the whole amount of the joint debt, even if one partner goes into an IVA.  The joint creditors will simply chase the other partner for the whole of the outstanding balance.

It is not possible for one partner's IVA to remove the other partner's liability for the joint debts, nor is it possible, legally, to have a "joint IVA", which lumps all the debts together.  Assuming you meet the IVA criteria what will actually happen will depend on how much debt each of you has.

If they are liable for only a relatively small amount of debt (including joint), say 10,000 or under, then they will not be able to do an IVA in their own name as the cost would be disproportionate to the amount of debt involved.  In that case, you can put forward an IVA in your name, but the household budget will have to allow for your non-IVA partner to continue making their monthly debt payments (including that on the joint debts) in full.  This might mean however that there's not enough left over to meet your own IVA payments.  If their payments are still too high, then they could enter into a debt management plan to reduce their payments, but they'd still end up paying their debts in full.

If they are liable for a larger amount of debt (over 10,000), then both of you can enter into IVAs together.  Now although they will be arrangements for each individual partner these will be linked together so they appear joint and you can't have a situation where one partner's IVA gets approved and the other's is rejected, both have to be approved or it's not on.  The costs of running two domestic partners' IVAs are around 50% higher than those of a single IVA, so while the minimum payment for a single IVA is 300 per month, for two IVAs the household will have to have a minimum of 500 per month available.  The total debt owed by the household would also have to be higher, so the combined debt must be a minimum of 40,000 to make the IVA option feasible.

Philip Beck is a Chartered Accountant and Licensed Insolvency Practitioner operating since 1996 with substantial experience in undertaking IVAs.

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IVA Questions and answers.

I have serious debt problems. What are the options ?

How do I know whether an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is the best answer to my problems ?

How do I work out how much I can afford to pay per month ?

OK I'm considering an IVA . How does it work ?

Do I have to attend meetings, or can this all be done by correspondence ?

What do creditors expect from it and how likely is it they'll accept it ?

Are all of them forced to accept the majority decision ? I've got one hell bent on making me bankrupt.

What happens if they don't like the deal ?

If the IVA is rejected, do I owe you anything ?

I've buried my head in the sand, now I've got a bankruptcy petition hearing next week. Is there something that can be done at this late stage ?

Will it really write off all of my debts ?

Will I live in poverty for the duration of the IVA ?

What if I win the lottery or get a big pay rise ?

Will it appear in the newspapers ? Will people know about it ? Will I ever be able to get credit again ?

Is an IVA more expensive than just going bankrupt ?

What will happen to my house, furniture, car and domestic effects ?

I run a business. What will happen to my business ?

I'm a professionally qualified person. Will I lose my livelihood ?

My partner has no debts, and I'm living with him/her. Will he/she have to contribute to the IVA ?

My partner and I have joint debts. Can we lump them all together in the same IVA ?

How do you get paid ? What does this all cost ?

There are plenty of Insolvency Practitioners or debt advice companies around. Why should I instruct you ?

What happens if I'm unable to keep up with the payments ?

What happens at the end of the arrangement ?

What other web sites do you suggest I look at for bankruptcy/IVA advice ?

Please note that this site deals only with personal insolvency law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. By law, only a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner can undertake an IVA for you. If you need an Insolvency Practitioner in Scotland, visit The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.   Interested in members voluntary liquidation ?

Copyright © Philip Beck Insolvency Practitioner, Cambridge UK, 2005. Bankruptcy and individual voluntary arrangements explained. Free IVA Advice. How to avoid bankruptcy with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. Debt, debt advice, debt management, debt consolidation.