Debt Relief Order

A Debt Relief Order (DRO) is a formal insolvency process that can help you deal with your debts if you owe less than £20,000, don’t own your home, and have less than £50 disposable income.

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This Guide Includes

1. What is a Debt Relief Order?

2. Criteria for a Debt Relief Order

3. What are the advantages of a DRO?

4. What are the disadvantages of a DRO?

5. Debts that can be included in a DRO

6. How to apply for a Debt Relief Order

7. Windfall During a DRO

8. Is my home at risk if I take out a Debt Relief Order?

9. DRO Advice


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What is a Debt Relief Order?

A Debt Relief Order, or DRO, is a formal legally binding debt solution and is most suited for those who own little assets of value and have a low level of income. It is sometimes viewed as an alternative to Bankruptcy or IVA but the strict criteria can be difficult to meet.

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You must have unsecured debt of less than £20,000, not a homeowner, and very few assets to be eligible. A DRO is available in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scottish residents have a similar option available to them, known as a Minimal Asset Process (MAP).  After the fixed period, usually, 1-year, qualifying debt will be wiped away, giving you a fresh start.

Before you apply for any debt solution you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of the solution and how these may impact you. Our experts will be more than happy to walk you through these and explain them in detail.

Trusted by Many

Charlotte
2021-05-04
I really appreciate the support I was given regarding debt advice. I was provided with the upmost respect and there was no judgement at all. As difficult as it was to go through my situation, the advisors made me feel comfortable and were able to support me to find a solution to better manage my debts. A huge thank you to Jay and Keeley.
IB Whittaker
2021-04-28
I was in a really bad situation due to a sad divide between my family but when I came to Refresh Debt Services, my mind was almost at complete ease. Keith Brady in particular is a lovely advisor and does his utmost to not only help, but follow each step along the way with perfect understanding of each situation. Couldn't recommend this company enough.
Michelle D'Arcy
2021-04-28
Keith was great! constantly asked if I had any questions, made sure I understood everything, didn't rush me when I was getting information. Totally professional but also put me at ease and we even had a little joke. The weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. 100% recommend them.
Craig Newkland
2021-04-28
Very very good service and advice. People at Refresh are friendly, polite and knowledgeable. Would recommend to anyone.
Linda Harvey
2021-04-27
From the day i started my DMP the team have been more than helpful and respectful. Over the Last years i have had know reason to contact Refresh as i never had any issues with my payments ect. In the last week as my DMP has come to an end i needed advice and support with being able to show proof my DMP had come to and end and i now owe nothing, but also a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Brenna my account manager was soo helpful and understanding and took her time to chat to me and send me all the info i had asked for. These people are not judgmental or insensitive, just helpful people trying to help you get back on track!! Thank you
jean roaach
2021-04-17
I found refresh very helpful when I was struggling with my debts. I received monthly statements and updates on what I was paying and when things changed and was only to happy to help with any problems I had all ways pleasant on the phone and understanding. Lucky enough I am debt free thanks to refresh would highly recommended them
Sarah
2021-04-15
Keith was so helpful! Made me feel very comfortable to talk to him about the help I needed. Would recommend anyone who is struggling to talk to him! Fantastic service! Couldn’t be more grateful of his time and help!
Carolyn
2021-04-03
Keith was absolutely brilliant. I was a victim of a sophisticated Bitcoin scam which has been largely responsible for my present financial predicament and I feel embarrassed and ashamed that I allowed this to happen to me.As a result I was really scared as I began to think that everything was fraudulent including Debt Management agencies. Right from the start I felt safe and reassured with Keith. He not only knew his stuff but validated my feelings and perceptions, was not at all judgemental and his concern and empathy were genuine with marked social, psychological and emotional intelligence and sensitivity. For the first time since I realised I had been scammed I could sleep. I felt protected and I still do. He would make a very good psychiatrist.
customer
2021-04-01
From the moment I spoke to Keith he put me at ease. He professionally took me through the possible steps, answering any questions that I had and his empathy and reassurance was very appreciated. Once I came to a final decision on what I needed Keith again answered any other questions and quickly put the plan into action. Honestly I had spent so many days/nights worrying about the debts once I had finished talking to Keith I felt like a huge weight was lifted from My shoulders!! I can’t thank Keith enough for taking the time to listen and then implement the plan for me! 10/10
Zdenka Suchankova
2021-03-29
Its a very friendly staff, just 5:45 I wait for next phone call and now its a5:50 and nobody call me. Something wrong?

Criteria for a Debt Relief Order

  • Debts of less than £20,000 and live in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Debt Relief Orders are not available if you live in Scotland.
  • Assets of less than £1,000.
  • A car value of less than £1,000.
  • A monthly surplus of less than £50.
  • You must not be subject to any other insolvency procedure and cannot have had a DRO in the previous 6 years.

What are the advantages of a DRO?

  • The fee of £90 is more affordable than some other debt solutions.
  • A DRO lasts for 12 months.
  • You are not required to make any contributions during that time.
  • Interest and charges are frozen.
  • At the end of this, your debt is written off.
  • You will keep any asset, including a car, providing it is not valued at £1000 or more.

What are the disadvantages of a DRO?

  • Your details will be included on the Insolvency Register and will appear on your credit file for 6 years after the date your DRO started.
  • As a formal arrangement, you cannot apply for a DRO yourself – it must be done through an authorised representative.
  • If you have a favourable change in circumstances during the 12-month duration the DRO may be revoked.
  • You cannot enter into a DRO if you have an existing IVA, bankruptcy order or own your property.
  • Once you’ve applied for a DRO and have had a successful application, you won’t be able to apply again for another six years. This applies even if your previous DRO was cancelled after approval.

Debts that can be included in a DRO

  • Arrears on household Bills
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Payday Loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Store Cards
  • Hire Purchase (HP)
  • Items bought on finance
  • Loans from friends and family

Some debts can’t be included in a DRO, such as court orders permitting child support, child maintenance, court fines, or student loans. If you are having trouble making payments to any of these, they must be dealt with separately.

If any debts have amounted due to fraud, these can’t be included and will still have to be paid once the DRO has finished.

How to apply for a Debt Relief Order

If you have decided that a DRO is the right option for you, we will put you in contact with a professional insolvency practitioner, should you need further help or advice with the mediation process, we’ll be right here to help.

A Debt Relief Order costs £90, the fee will be paid directly to the Insolvency Service. The fee you pay is non-refundable. You’re only able to apply for a DRO once every six years. It’s important that the information you provide on your application is accurate.

Once you have submitted your application and paid the £90 fee, the Debt Relief Order will be granted by an Official Receiver if you’re eligible.

Windfall During a DRO

Most DROs will include a ‘windfall clause’, which means that if you come into any money during the course of your DRO, you will have to declare it to your insolvency practitioner as a source of income. These windfalls can include things like a pay increase at work. If you’re lucky enough to win the lottery or unfortunate enough to lose a family member, any winnings or inheritance could be given to your debt holders as part of this windfall clause.

Is my home at risk if I take out a Debt Relief Order?

Homeowners are not eligible for a Debt Relief Order. If you are a homeowner and you’re struggling with debt, we recommend speaking to one of our advisors to see what alternative options are available to you.

DRO Advice

If after reading this, you think that a Debt Relief Order would be the right solution for you, contact us to discuss this solution in more detail.

Our expert advisers will give you advice and provide you with all the relevant information needed for you to make a decision that’s best for your situation.

Reviews & Testimonials

Charlotte
2021-05-04
I really appreciate the support I was given regarding debt advice. I was provided with the upmost respect and there was no judgement at all. As difficult as it was to go through my situation, the advisors made me feel comfortable and were able to support me to find a solution to better manage my debts. A huge thank you to Jay and Keeley.
IB Whittaker
2021-04-28
I was in a really bad situation due to a sad divide between my family but when I came to Refresh Debt Services, my mind was almost at complete ease. Keith Brady in particular is a lovely advisor and does his utmost to not only help, but follow each step along the way with perfect understanding of each situation. Couldn't recommend this company enough.
Michelle D'Arcy
2021-04-28
Keith was great! constantly asked if I had any questions, made sure I understood everything, didn't rush me when I was getting information. Totally professional but also put me at ease and we even had a little joke. The weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. 100% recommend them.
Craig Newkland
2021-04-28
Very very good service and advice. People at Refresh are friendly, polite and knowledgeable. Would recommend to anyone.
Linda Harvey
2021-04-27
From the day i started my DMP the team have been more than helpful and respectful. Over the Last years i have had know reason to contact Refresh as i never had any issues with my payments ect. In the last week as my DMP has come to an end i needed advice and support with being able to show proof my DMP had come to and end and i now owe nothing, but also a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Brenna my account manager was soo helpful and understanding and took her time to chat to me and send me all the info i had asked for. These people are not judgmental or insensitive, just helpful people trying to help you get back on track!! Thank you
jean roaach
2021-04-17
I found refresh very helpful when I was struggling with my debts. I received monthly statements and updates on what I was paying and when things changed and was only to happy to help with any problems I had all ways pleasant on the phone and understanding. Lucky enough I am debt free thanks to refresh would highly recommended them
Sarah
2021-04-15
Keith was so helpful! Made me feel very comfortable to talk to him about the help I needed. Would recommend anyone who is struggling to talk to him! Fantastic service! Couldn’t be more grateful of his time and help!
Carolyn
2021-04-03
Keith was absolutely brilliant. I was a victim of a sophisticated Bitcoin scam which has been largely responsible for my present financial predicament and I feel embarrassed and ashamed that I allowed this to happen to me.As a result I was really scared as I began to think that everything was fraudulent including Debt Management agencies. Right from the start I felt safe and reassured with Keith. He not only knew his stuff but validated my feelings and perceptions, was not at all judgemental and his concern and empathy were genuine with marked social, psychological and emotional intelligence and sensitivity. For the first time since I realised I had been scammed I could sleep. I felt protected and I still do. He would make a very good psychiatrist.
customer
2021-04-01
From the moment I spoke to Keith he put me at ease. He professionally took me through the possible steps, answering any questions that I had and his empathy and reassurance was very appreciated. Once I came to a final decision on what I needed Keith again answered any other questions and quickly put the plan into action. Honestly I had spent so many days/nights worrying about the debts once I had finished talking to Keith I felt like a huge weight was lifted from My shoulders!! I can’t thank Keith enough for taking the time to listen and then implement the plan for me! 10/10
Zdenka Suchankova
2021-03-29
Its a very friendly staff, just 5:45 I wait for next phone call and now its a5:50 and nobody call me. Something wrong?

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