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Checklist for deciding if an administration order is right for you

This advice applies to Wales

An administration order is a legally-binding debt solution that allows you to pay off your debts with monthly payments to the court. This money is then given to your creditors.

This page will help you decide if an administration order is right for you.

When an administration order may be right for you

An administration order may be right for you if:

  • your debts total no more than £5000
  • you have at least two separate debts
  • one of your debts is a county court or high court judgment
  • you have a regular income with some spare income each month
  • you don't want to have to deal with your creditors directly.

Benefits of an administration order

Benefits of an administration order are:

  • it is legally binding. This means all creditors included in the order have to stick to it and they can't chase you for the debt once the administration order is in force
  • there is no up front fee
  • you make just one monthly payment into court
  • all your debts are dealt with together
  • administration orders are usually time limited and won't normally last more than three years
  • some of the debt may be written off.

When an administration order may not be right for you

An administration order may not be right for you if:

  • your debts are more than £5000
  • you do not have an unpaid court judgment
  • you only have one creditor
  • you have no surplus income to offer.

Other things to think about

When you are working out what debt solution is best for you, you need to be aware of the following:

  • cost
  • impact on your job
  • impact on your home
  • impact on your possessions, savings and pension
  • lasting power of attorney
  • impact on your credit rating.

Cost

There is a small cost involved in getting an administration order. This is because the orders are administered by the court. Costs will be 10% of the amount that you repay. So if you repay a total of £3000, the court's costs will be £300. This is deducted from the amount you repay each month so you don’t have to find the money up front. This is much cheaper than bankruptcy.

Job

Most jobs will not be affected by an administration order. However, if you get an administration order it is possible that you may be disqualified from holding certain posts or offices. For example, being a school governor. Check the terms and conditions of your contract or your professional codes of practice to see if there are restrictions.

Home

If you own a home, you won't be expected to sell it or remortgage it to pay into your administration order. It will be safe. However some courts will not grant an administration order to home owners or people with a mortgage – you will need to check the practice of your local court.

Possessions, savings and pension

If you own a car or other large items, the court may expect you to sell them to pay off some of your debt. They may also expect you to use any savings you have to pay your creditors too.

Your state and personal pensions will not be affected by an administration order.

Lasting power of attorney

An administration order won't affect you if you have lasting power of attorney.

Getting credit

Getting an administration order will affect your credit rating which may make it more difficult to get credit. This will be the case with most debt solutions.

Alternatives to an administration order

The main alternatives to an administration order are:

  • debt relief order. This may be appropriate if you don’t own a home, you owe £15,000 or less and have very little spare income and very little in the way of assets
  • bankruptcy. This may be appropriate if you don't own a home or you owe more on your home than it is worth, and have no other assets or spare income
  • debt management plans. This may be appropriate if your debts are over £5000 and you have some spare income each month
  • informal agreement with your creditors
  • individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). This may be appropriate if you owe more than £10,000, have at least £100 per month spare income and or a lump sum to offer to your creditors.

Next steps

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