Forgotten a debt - DROs

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

When you apply for a debt relief order (DRO) you need to declare all of your debts. However, you might discover later that you forgot to include a debt in your application.

This page explains what you need to do if you find a debt you'd forgotten about or your debt increases while you've got a DRO.

What is the DRO period?

The DRO period is 12 months from the date when the debt relief order (DRO) is made by the official receiver. During this time you can't make payments towards most types of debts listed in the DRO and you'll be affected by certain restrictions. This period may also be called the moratorium.

If you forget to include a debt

You may discover a debt that you didn't include in your DRO application because you'd forgotten about it. If this happens, you must tell the official receiver as soon as you realise your mistake.

If you don't, you will be committing an offence. This could lead to your DRO being stopped or a debt relief restrictions order (DRRO) being applied to you. A DRRO extends the time you have to follow certain restrictions for up to 15 years. It may also lead to you being fined or imprisoned.

Can you add a debt to your DRO?

The law doesn't allow you to add a debt to your DRO. This means you must make separate arrangements to repay this debt. Your creditors can also continue to take action to make you pay the debt which was missed off the DRO.

If you're struggling to repay extra debts

If you're struggling to pay debts on top of your DRO, talk to your creditors as soon as possible. Your DRO adviser should also be able to advise you on how to deal with your debts.

Next steps

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Page last reviewed on 08 January 2020