Have you been mis-sold an IVA?

Has your IVA gone wrong because the implications were not made clear to you?

The Individual Voluntary Arrangement or IVA has been around for many years now. When it started, it was seen as an alternative route to bankruptcy. Over the years the rules have changed a bit but in recent times the IVA has started to become almost disreputable.

Debt Avoidance

The problem is that the IVA is not a panacea to avoid debt; on the contrary, creditors generally have become alive to the fact that this is a route used by many wanting to shed their debt and so called debt management companies have jumped on the band wagon by “selling” this form of insolvency and making huge profits – profits which perhaps could go to creditors to help pay off debts.

We do not say that all IVAs are bad but too many are and ordinary people in the street are being stitched up. This is because they are not being given best advice.

Best Advice

What is best advice? In essence everyone’s circumstances are different and the broad brush approach will only work in the most typical of cases. Is yours a “typical case”? Are you just the same as everyone else in terms of your financial and family position? We doubt it.

Ask yourself this question: Is a salesman who is almost certainly on commission going to give you best advice to suit you or advise in a way which suits his purpose to sell you an IVA?

Qualified accountants and insolvency practitioners are expected by their governing bodies to give best advice. Sadly we have come across cases where best advice has not been given; indeed cases where essential advice has not been given at all or relevant issues even considered.

If your case falls into this category you could have a claim for professional negligence against the company or individual who steered you into your IVA.

Bad Advice

In what circumstances might you have not been given best advice? To give best advice your adviser needs to know enough about you and your circumstances to be able to do so so you have to have come clean and told him everything which is relevant. He of course also has a duty to make certain enquiries of you in relation to matters which he knows will be relevant and which you may not have thought about. After all, he is supposed to be the expert.

In some cases the rules relating to the approval of IVAs are simply not followed properly. In that case, your IVA could be completely void.

You may have entered into a perfectly valid and binding voluntary arrangement without realising its full implications until it is too late. If you were misled into doing that, you may have a claim.


Sometimes, in fact often, creditors want to impose modifications which may change the whole emphasis of your IVA. Those changes may in fact negate the benefit of doing the IVA at all. You may even have had modifications imposed which on proper consideration could never have been met. If that happened to you, were the implications fully explained and did you go ahead with your eyes wide open? If not, you may have a claim.

But if you went into your IVA with your eyes open with best advice and all the procedures have been properly followed, then just “not liking” the outcome is unfortunately not a ground you can take action on.

So ask yourself the question: Did I really know what I was doing and did I get best advice? If the answer is no or I do not think so, then that is your cue to talk to us.


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