What is a debt relief order (DRO)?
A Debt Relief Order (or DRO for short) is a debt solution that’s ideal for people who have a relatively low level of debt, who are on a low income and who have few or no assets. It’s a legal process designed to clear most debts included in it. You don’t have to go to court to apply, and you’ll pay a one-off fee of £90 per person to the Insolvency Service.
Please note the following information applies only to people living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you are from Scotland, find out more about a Minimal Assets Process.
How do I get a debt relief order?
It’s really important to get some impartial advice first, to decide whether a debt relief order is right for you.
Once you’ve decided a DRO is right for you, you must apply for a debt relief order through an approved intermediary (an approved organisation such as CAP). You will then submit an application and pay your £90 fee to the Insolvency Service.
Who can apply for a debt relief order?
To apply for a DRO in England and Wales:
You must have no more than £30,000 of qualifying debt.
You must have no more than £75 of disposable income per month (this means the money left over after you’ve paid all your living costs each month, such as food, rent and bills).
Your car or other motor vehicle, if you have one, must be worth no more than £2,000.
Any other assets, if you have them, must be worth no more than £2,000.
You must not have had another debt relief order within the last six years.
To apply for a DRO in Northern Ireland:
- You must have no more than £20,000 of qualifying debt.
You must have no more than £50 of disposable income per month (this means the money left over after you’ve paid all your living costs each month, such as food, rent and bills).
Your car or other motor vehicle, if you have one, must be worth no more than £1,000.
Any other assets, if you have them, must be worth no more than £1,000.
You must not have had another DRO within the last six years.
Your application may not be accepted if you have paid more to one of your creditors (including friends or family members) than the others, or transferred any assets into someone else’s name.
Some debts are not covered by a debt relief order such as tv licence arrears or criminal fines. You will still need to pay these debts.
If you decide to work with us, we’ll let you know whether a DRO would suit you as part of your CAP Plan. CAP will also arrange to see a copy of your credit report before we apply for your DRO.
How long does a debt relief order take to process?
Once your application is complete and submitted to the Insolvency Service, they should make a decision within 10 working days.