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Administration orders

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

An administration order (AO) is a formal and legally-binding agreement between you and your creditors to pay back your debts over a period of time.

You apply for an administration order to the Enforcement of Judgments Office (EJO). You then make regular payments to the EJO towards the total sum you owe your creditors and the EJO distributes the money to your creditors.

Top tips

AOs are rarely used in Northern Ireland. A Debt Relief Order or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement may be a better solution for debts you cannot afford to pay.

What is an administration order?

An administration order is a formal debt solution which is administered by the Enforcement of Judgments Office.

To get an AO you must have:

  • debts that are no more than £5,000 in total
  • an unpaid county court judgment (CCJ)
  • enough regular income to make weekly or monthly repayments

How do I apply?

You apply for an administration order to the Enforcement of Judgments Office. You will need to show that you cannot pay your debts and that you have a court judgment against you.

You do not have to pay a fee, but the EJO will take a percentage towards its costs from your regular repayments.

How do the repayments work?

The EJO will look at your financial situation and tell you how much you should pay each month and how long the arrangement should last. The order will either state that you must go on paying until your debts are cleared in full or will ask you to repay only a percentage of your debt.  The order may also state that the amount you repay each month must be reviewed from time to time.

You have to pay the monthly amount to the EJO, who will then distribute the money to your creditors.

The EJO charges for this service, up to 10% of your total debt. The EJO takes a percentage of the charge from the monthly payments it distributes to your creditors.

If you do not keep up with your payments the Administration Order might be cancelled and your creditors can chase you separately for what you owe them.

If your circumstances change and you cannot pay as ordered, you can apply to the EJO to change the order.

Further Information

Enforcement of Judgments Office
7th Floor Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FD

Telephone: 028 9024 5081

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