Applying for an administration order

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

An administration order (AO) is set up by your local county court. If you decide you want to get an administration order you will have to fill in an application form and hand it in to the court.

This page tells you where to get an application form and how to fill it in.

If you have joint debts

You can't take out an administration order with the other person who shares your debt. You each need to apply for a separate administration order.

However, some courts only accept joint debts when they are listed on just one of the joint debtors' applications. If you have a joint debt and that debt is already included on the other person's administration order, you should put a note on your application form saying so.

You should check with your local court about how joint debts are treated and whether to include them on your application.

Before you apply for an administration order

Before you fill in the application form for the administration order, there are certain things you should do to make it easier for you to fill in the application form. These include:

  • making sure you are clear about what debts you have and who your creditors are

  • completing a budget sheet.

Preparing to apply for an administration order

How to apply for an administration order

To apply for an administration order you must fill in form N92 provided by the courts. There are guidance notes that will help you complete the form. You must read these when you fill in the form.

You can download form N92 and the guidance notes from GOV.UK.

You should print the form and fill it in by hand. Or, you can pick up a form at your local county court office. You can find your local court on GOV.UK.


Do not sign the application form

. You must do this at the court in front of a court officer.

Listing your debts

You must list all your debts in the application and they must not be more than £5,000 in total. You can ask the district judge to exclude a particular creditor from the AO but you will need a good reason to leave one out. You also need to be certain that you can make payments to this creditor outside of the order. A debt that you want to exclude from the order will still count towards the £5,000 total.

If you have mortgage or rent arrears, it is advisable to ask for these to be left out of the AO. Check how to deal with mortgage and rent arrears on an administration order.

Part C of the application form

You should complete part C of the application form with the amount that you can realistically afford to offer, however small. The amount you insert in this section is to cover repayment to all of your creditors. If you are on benefits or a low income, you may only be able to afford a few pounds a month. Court officials will use figures provided in the statement of means (section 6 of the application form) to decide how much you should pay each month. If the court sets a proposed rate for the order at a level that you can't afford then you can object to this and there will be a hearing.

If you can't afford to repay all your debt over a reasonable time (usually 3 years), you should use this section to ask for a composition order. This results in you only paying a proportion of your debt. Check what happens if you ask for a composition order.

Handing in your application form to the court

You should take your completed application form to the county court where you live. You should include with the form:

  • proof of the debts. For example, letters from creditors stating the balance outstanding. If it is not possible to get all the letters at the time of the application, you should attach a covering letter saying full details will be available if needed.

  • proof of income and expenses

  • a copy of court judgments or orders included in the application.

Different courts have different practices on what documents you need to use as proof. Ring or visit the court and ask them what evidence they need to see.

You'll have to sign the form in front of a court officer. You'll also have to swear an oath that the information given in your application is true. The form could also be sworn by a solicitor but you'd have to pay for this.

You can find your nearest county court on GOV.UK.

Next steps

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Page last reviewed on 04 March 2021