Although bankruptcy might seem like an easy answer to your financial problems, it is best avoided if at all possible. After all there are so many disadvantages associated with bankruptcy that it really should be a last resort.
If you file for bankruptcy it will stay on your credit record for a number of years. This will make it practically impossible for you to obtain a credit card or loan. If you do manage to get one you are likely to be subject to hefty interest charges and fees.
Furthermore, although it does not always happen if you go bankrupt you may lose your home. This can be very stressful particularly when it happens at a time when your world feels like it is shutting down around you.
Bankruptcy can also affect your long term career options. If you own a company you will be forced to close it and your employees will be dismissed. Whilst looking ahead, you will not be able to form a new company in the future without the court’s permission. You can also lose your professional status and are not allowed to hold public office.
Given all the negative effects of bankruptcy it is worth considering the alternatives to it. The Insolvency Act of 1986 introduced the IVA as a legitimate alternative to bankruptcy.
An IVA does not have any of the disadvantages attached to bankruptcy. For instance there is no social stigma with an IVA as it is entirely private between you and your creditors.
An IVA is a formal arrangement between you and you creditors. You propose to repay a certain amount of your debt each month based on what you can actually afford. If your creditors agree to this they will write of a certain amount of your debt completely. In addition they will freeze interest on your debt and agree not to contact you whilst the IVA is in place.
An IVA allows you to repay your debt over five years. After this time, if you have abided by its terms, you will be declared free of debt.
An IVA enables you to avoid bankruptcy and clear your debts. They can be excellent alternative to bankruptcy for people with debts over £15,000, multiple creditors and who can afford to re-pay at least £200 a month.
Clear Start, the National Consumer Debt Advice Service offers free IVA advice to help you avoid bankruptcy: Alternative to Bankruptcy