Personal debt problems are increasing rapidly in the United Kingdom and there are a plethora of companies making extravagant claims as to how much credit card / loan companies are willing to “write off”. Many of these claims are totally unrealistic and an individual with debt problems can find matters are made worse! When seeking advice, please bear in mind that only licensed insolvency practitioners can supervise formal procedures.

 Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is an alternative to bankruptcy. It enables an individual with debt problems to make a proposal to their creditors (the people or companies to whom they owe money) to reach a settlement.

In an IVA, an individual with debt problems will reach an agreement with their creditors to make a single reduced payment each month. This lasts for an agreed period of time, usually 5 years. Once agreement has been reached, no further interest or charges will accrue to debts. The arrangement terms are fixed and creditors cannot randomly demand changes to it.

Provided the agreed payments to the IVA are maintained, at the end of the arrangement period, the remainder of your debt is written off.

The team at Williams & Co are specialists in advising, setting up and supervising IVAs.


Bankruptcy is a much-confused insolvency process that applies only to individuals. It can apply where the value of an person’s liabilities exceeds the value of their assets, or indeed when they simply cannot make payments due.

An individual can either file for their own bankruptcy (there are some costs) or wait for a creditor to bankrupt them.

It is the level of the ‘gap’ between the value of the assets held and the amount due to creditors that will usually determine whether an individual should consider an alternative to bankruptcy such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA).