Debt relief orders

Debt relief orders are only available in England and Wales.

A debt relief order (DRO) is an order that you may be able to apply for if you can’t afford to pay off your debts. It’s granted by the Insolvency Service and is a cheaper option than going bankrupt.

It usually lasts for a year and during that time, none of your creditors can take action against you to get their money back. At the end of the year, you are free of all the debts listed in the order.

Who qualifies for a DRO

You may qualify for a DRO if you meet the following conditions:

  • you have debts of £15,000 or less
  • you have spare available monthly income of £50 or less after paying your normal household bills
  • the things of value you own (your assets) and your savings are worth £300 or less. This does not include your car as long as it is worth less than £1000
  • you have not recently been made bankrupt or gone through another sort of insolvency procedure such as an individual voluntary arrangement.

You can only apply for a DRO through an authorised DRO adviser, known as an approved intermediary.

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can put you in touch with a DRO adviser. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.

In England and Wales, for more information about DROs, see debt relief orders.