Debt relief orders (DROs)
Produced in partnership with Simon Passfield of Guildhall Chambers
Debt relief orders (DROs)

The following Restructuring & Insolvency practice note produced in partnership with Simon Passfield of Guildhall Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Debt relief orders (DROs)
  • What is a DRO?
  • Who may apply?
  • The application
  • Duties of the debtor
  • Effect of a DRO
  • Objections to DRO
  • Revocation of DRO
  • Offences

Debt relief orders (DROs)

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for R&I?

STOP PRESS: In May 2021 the Insolvency Service announced its intention to change the eligibility criteria for debt relief orders (DROs) so that more people are able to access them. The change will come into effect from 29 June 2021.

For further reading, see: Insolvency Service announces new measures to extend DROs following consultation, LNB News 10/05/2021 38.

What is a DRO?

DROs are 'a new and simplified way of wiping the slate clean for debtors who are too poor to go bankrupt.'

A DRO is made in respect of qualifying debts.

A qualifying debt means a debt which is:

  1. for a liquidated sum payable either immediately or at some future time

  2. not secured

  3. not an excluded debt

Under IR 2016, SI 2016/1024, r 9.2, an excluded debt means:

  1. any fine or obligation arising under an order made in family proceedings or a maintenance

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