Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is an IVA suitable for a homeowner?

The right debt solution for you will depend on your personal circumstances as well as things like how much you owe. There are plenty of factors to consider. Are you employed? How many lenders do you owe money to? Are you a homeowner?

Whether or not you're a homeowner isn't likely to impact on whether you qualify for a certain debt solution, but it may affect how suitable it is for you. For example, while you could potentially lose your home if you go bankrupt, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) can help you to tackle your unsecured debts and stay in your home.

How an IVA could help you
An IVA is a formal, legally binding agreement between you and your unsecured lenders. In it, you will agree to repay as much of your debts as possible over an agreed period of time (usually five years). On successful completion of the agreement, the unsecured debt you haven't yet repaid will be written off.

Most IVAs involve making regular monthly payments towards your debts. As long as you keep this up, you will be legally protected against any further action by your lenders. Your lenders may only pursue alternative action - such as trying to make you bankrupt - if you fail to keep up with the agreement (if you miss payments and your IVA ends up failing).

Is an IVA always the best option?
Any debt solution will come with drawbacks as well as advantages. An IVA, for example, will seriously affect your credit rating for six years, and if you own equity in your home, you may have to release some of it so you can repay more of the money you owe.

No debt solution is right for everyone, and even if you are a homeowner it may be that another debt solution is a better option in your circumstances. That's why it's essential that you discuss all your options with a professional before you settle on anything. They can talk you through the various debt solutions that might be available to you and help you find the one that best meets your needs.

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