Debt relief order application refused

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

This page explains why your debt relief order (DRO) application might be refused and what you can do about it.

If you need help asking for your DRO application to be reconsidered, speak to your DRO adviser.

Why your DRO application was refused

If your DRO application is refused you'll be given written reasons explaining why. This may be because:

  • you don't meet all the criteria for getting a DRO

  • you didn't provide further information when asked

  • the official receiver believes that you haven’t been honest in your application.

If you think the decision is unfair or wrong

If you think the decision about your DRO application is unfair or wrong, you have the right to ask the court to decide whether it should be changed.

However, before asking the court, you should always first ask the official receiver to reconsider their decision. This means your application will be looked at again to see if the original decision was correct.

You can request this for any reason, but you're only likely to be successful if you can show:

  • you did meet all the criteria

  • you did co-operate with the official receiver's requests for more information

  • you were honest in your application.

How to ask for the decision to be changed

If you want to ask the official receiver to reconsider their decision, you should speak to the DRO adviser who made your application. If you have grounds to challenge the decision, ask the DRO adviser to help you write to the official receiver. In your letter, set out the reasons why you think the decision should be changed and include any evidence you have to support your case.

If you can't get the decision changed

If your application is still refused by the official receiver, you can take court action. However, you should always give the official receiver the chance to reconsider their decision before you do this. Always speak to your DRO adviser first if you're considering this kind of action. They can help you to decide whether this would be the best course of action for you.

If you paid an application fee

You can't ask for a refund of your application fee if your DRO application is turned down.

Next steps

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Page last reviewed on 08 January 2020