IVA Register – Is There Such Thing?

Learn about the Insolvency Service and the IVA register, including the details it holds, how many months you’ll appear on the register, and how it impacts your credit score.

What is the IVA Register?

There isn’t an actual ‘IVA Register’, just as there isn’t a separate Bankruptcy register or for any other form of debt relief. There is one register that covers all forms of insolvency, and that’s the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR), sometimes referred to as the register of insolvencies. This is managed by the Insolvency Service, and it’s where anyone who is declared insolvent is registered to have their details kept and made publicly available.

So, if you’re in England or Wales and you have an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, a Debt Relief Order or you’ve declared bankruptcy, you’ll be on the Individual Insolvency Register. Outside of England and Wales, there are other debt solutions in place, though the equivalent options will still get you registered.

How to set up an IVA

While the register is technically available to anyone to view, it’s rare to have a random stranger deciding to have a nosey through it. Instead, it’s more likely to be creditors who want to assess whether you’re entitled to more credit if you’ve applied for any, or landlords who may be looking at your financial situation to decide whether you’re someone they wish to offer a tenancy agreement to.

In some jobs, employers will use the insolvency register to check your current details when they’re hiring, as there are some jobs or whole sectors where you’ll be unable to work if you’ve undergone some form of insolvency including bankruptcy, Debt Relief Orders or Individual Voluntary Arrangements.

Seek help from the Citizens Advice Bureau if you’re worried that your bankruptcy or registration could impact you in finding work or somewhere to live.

Which details are stored?

The register is fairly comprehensive when it comes to storing details. When you’re added to the register, it will include your full name, your last known address (which should be your current address, since you’ll have given your details as part of the insolvency agreement), your occupation, your date of birth, your gender, the details and dates of your bankruptcy, debt relief order or individual voluntary arrangements and the name of your Insolvency Practitioner.

This amount of detail is used to avoid any confusion or cases of mistaken identity. It would be unfair if it simply included name and date of birth, as there are sure to be a few John Smiths born on the same date, for example. This way, if a creditor has to carry out a search, they’re sure to find the actual person they’re looking for, and the current details to show that it is definitely the correct person.

How long does it last?

iva register - how long does it last?

You’ll be kept on the Insolvency Register for the full duration of your insolvency agreement, plus an additional three months once it’s completed. As soon as those three months are over, your details will be fully removed and you won’t appear on it again unless you are declared insolvent again in future. This means that you’ll often be removed months before your credit score has the insolvency mark removed.

If your insolvency agreement is terminated for any other reason, such as you’ve managed to pay off your debts or your debt solution has failed, you’ll still be registered for three more months. If you do fail an IVA and you then need to declare bankruptcy, you’ll be re-registered with your new information.

There are rare cases where you may be eligible to be removed sooner, but these are only if you are placed in danger by being findable through the register. It’s not common, but you just need to appeal – your insolvency practitioner can give you advice on this should it apply to your situation. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re worried that someone could target you through the information that’s publicly available.

How does it impact your credit score?

If you’ve got an IVA, a Debt Relief Order or you’ve declared bankruptcy, you’re going to struggle to obtain credit in your current situation. The register doesn’t directly impact your credit score, as these forms of debt relief will all be placed on your credit file separately, not by the Insolvency Service.

Once you’ve completed the time on the register, you may still have trouble obtaining new credit as insolvencies show on your credit report for six years. It is best to seek advice from an authoritative financial service if you need help.