Guidance: Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) protocol

Original news:

The individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) Protocol for 2014 provides an agreed standard framework for dealing with straightforward consumer IVAs and applies to both IVA providers and creditors. The updates to the Protocol and the new equity clause are to ensure the term 'remortgage' includes secured loan.

 Background:

Purpose of an IVA

An IVA is a voluntary agreement between a person in debt and his/her creditors. It is a formal (contractual) agreement and can be as flexible as the individual's circumstances allow.

An IVA Protocol has been in operation since early 2008. Its purpose is to ease the efficient handling of straightforward consumer IVAs. The Protocol recognises that the IVA supports a valid public policy objective by providing debt relief for individuals in financial distress. It also recognises that at the centre of this process there is a person, who needs to understand the process and the associated paperwork and the impact the IVA will have on their lives.

By accepting the content of the Protocol, IVA providers and creditors agree to follow the processes and agreed documentation that forms part of the Protocol. IVA providers indicate their acceptance of the content of the Protocol by drawing up a proposal based on the standard documentation, which states it follows the Protocol. Creditors are expected to abide by the terms of the Protocol in relation to proposals drawn up on that basis.

Consumer IVAs

Not all cases can be classified as a straightforward consumer IVA. A person suitable for a straightforward consumer IVA is likely to be:

in receipt of a regular income either from employment or from a regular pension

have three or more lines of credit from two or more creditors

The operation of the IVA Protocol

The IVA Standing Committee was set up to meet regularly and provide information about the operation of the IVA Protocol, in particular:

how it interacts with the IVA regime generally

to identify problems/issues arising in the operation of the Protocol at an early stage

to act as a discussion forum for stakeholders and ensure that information concerning the operation of the IVA regime generally and particularly Protocol cases can be effectively shared and discussed

to review periodically the Protocol and its standard terms and conditions to ensure they are fit for purpose and to make any changes needed

To see the full protocol click here: IVA Protocol

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