How do I find the best IVA company for me?

The Insolvency Act states that an IVA can only be proposed and administered through the services of a licensed Insolvency Practitioner, otherwise known as an IP.

There are many IPs throughout the country, each following their own interpretation of the IVA protocol, the name given to the predetermined structure upon which most IVAs are based.

Consequently, choosing an IP can become rather a hit and miss affair.

Making The Right Choice

But, don't worry, here are some great tips to help you ensure you trust your IVA to the right people. Follow these few tips and you won't go far wrong.

Your Local IP

Some people are happy to contact a local IP for help which can be a quick way of getting the ball rolling, but this direct approach can be problematic.

Firstly, your local IP might not concentrate their practice on the IVA sector, meaning they will be less familiar with the IVA process than those IPs that work solely with IVAs.

Secondly, your local IP might not be naturally sympathetic, which could make life difficult if your IVA hits problems.

And it's partly for these reasons that most people prefer to employ the services of a recommended IP, usually provided through an intermediary.

Intermediaries

By far the most common way of finding an IP is via an intermediary.

An intermediary is an individual or a company that introduce you to an IP they've had dealings with in the past, like a sort of personal recommendation but on a commercial basis.

Using an intermediary is generally a good idea but, as with most things, some are better than others and some also charge a large fee for their services.

So make sure you only use a 'Not For Profit' organisation like IVA.info to be on the safe side.

Do some checks before you start

It is a legal requirement for all individuals or companies, giving professional debt advice to the general public anywhere in the United Kingdom, to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

An authorisation is only given by the FCA after rigorous checks have been made.

Anyone can access the public records to verify the credentials of the intermediary by visiting the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/firms/systems-reporting/consumer-credit-register

Checking the credentials of an intermediary will safeguard you from rogue traders and receiving bad advice.

Protect yourself from pushy sales-people

Remember you're in a very vulnerable position.

To an unscrupulous sales person you're easy prey, so don't automatically assume the sales advisor has your best interests at heart. Whilst many do, there are a few that are only concerned about their sales commissions.

Because of this, many will tell you exactly what you want to hear or make promises they can't keep, just to get your business.

Remember, if it feels pushy, walk away.

Do not pay up front set-up costs

Make sure the company you approach does not charge up any front fees.

It tends to be Debt Management Companies that charge set up fees, and they use the set-up fees to pay out sales commissions. Whilst they'll try to inform you otherwise, paying a set up fee is unnecessary and should be avoided at all costs.

Use a 'Not For Profit' organisation like IVA.info that wont charge you for setting up an IVA.

8 Top tips

Here are 8 great tips to help you find the right IVA company for you:

  1. Use a free service.
    Make sure you choose a free service provider like IVA.info
  2. Invest time with your advisor.
    The relationship you build with your advisor is really important. They need to understand your circumstances as completely as possible if they are going to be able to assist you, so you'll need to be able to open up to them, which means being prepared to share details of your personal circumstances in order to get the very best advice tailored to suit you.
  3. Knowledge is power.
    Your advisor should be knowledgeable and empathic. They should be able to explain all aspects of the IVA solution to you in clear and plain English, with relevance to your personal circumstances and in particular the equity clause if it's relevant. They should be able to impart their knowledge to you to help you make an informed decision. So don't allow your consultation to be some sort of training call as it's too important.
  4. Look for balanced advice.
    The objective of any consultation should be to provide you with the balanced advice you need to ensure you can make an informed decision on your own terms. This should include a complete explanation of the alternative solutions you have, including Bankruptcy, Debt management and Debt Relief Orders. If you are being steered towards a single solution then be cautious.
  5. Beware of unrealistic contributions.
    There are many companies that employ sales people rather than debt advisors, and they can be experts at selling a dream. But, unfortunately, the promise of unrealistically low IVA payments is usually a sales tactic. All IVAs should have contributions based on affordability, and that's why your creditors will be checking your offer. If they're unconvinced at the creditors' meeting that your offer is genuine, they can insist on an increase before approving your IVA.
  6. Beware of the over promise.
    The decision as to whether your IVA will be approved rests, ultimately, with your creditors and not with your advisor. Any guarantees or promises of success by your advisor are, most probably, further sales pressure and should be ignored.
  7. Follow your instincts.
    Entering an IVA is a serious course of action for anyone to undertake. That's why it's so important to have confidence in the advice you receive and be comfortable with the people charged with helping you. If you have the slightest doubt about either, you should consider seeking a second opinion before you make a commitment. Remember, so long as you haven't actually entered the IVA, its never too late to walk away.
  8. Refundable IP Fees.
    If your chosen Insolvency Practitioner insists on taking payments from you before the Creditors' Meeting make sure you have a money back guarantee just in case your IVA gets rejected. If they won't give you a guarantee, call 0800 088 7502 and we'll help you find another IP that will work without any money up front.

Choose IVA.info

By choosing IVA.info you take the risk out of the IVA process.

The team behind IVA.info have been helping people enter IVAs for over a decade and we have the expertise to help you.

You need to know before you start that your IVA has the best chance of success, otherwise how can you be confident you're IVAs going to make it to a successful conclusion.

Dedicated panel of IPs

We've developed great working relationship with a group of external Insolvency Practitioners, enabling us to quickly identify which IP is best suited to the individual circumstances of any particular case.

It's not just about delivering a fast and friendly service either. Your IP will be sympathetic to your circumstances too, ensuring your case is not just a numbered file on a shelf.

What's more, because of our close working relationships, our preferrd IPs guarantee to prioritise each case, whilst giving their professional appraisal of each IVA application before an approach to your creditors is made.

This technique ensures that we have one the quickest IVA application processes in the country, along with the highest possible pass-rate for our IVA applications, currently sitting at 98%.

If you would like to talk to someone, simply call IVA.info on 0800 088 7502 or complete this form and an adviser will contact you at your preferred time.

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Key Information
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PLEASE NOTE: If you apply for an IVA through IVA.info you will not be expected to pay any IVA contributions until the outcome of your IVA has proved successful.

This is because IVA.info operates a "No IVA - No Fee" policy.

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