Applying for DRO

Diamonds93 Forumite Posts: 7
First Post First Anniversary
Hi I'm currently in approx £15k debt, possibly more. Multiple creditors, council, HMRC and my landlord.

I was in talks with a debt advisor back in March at my local council and she wasn't going to put me forward for a DRO but I got scared and backed out. 
Last week I received yet another letter from the courts regarding a CCJ against me (I've only just paid one back with the same solicitor) and it's pushed me to the edge.

I have 2 children, I work part-time but contracted to 20 working up to 38 hours a week. I'm paid weekly which has put me in the mess of having varied income. I also receive UC which again varies depending what I earn. My HMRC debt is deducted from my UC and if that's "written off" then it will most likely put me over the surplus too?

Because my income isn't a permanent stable amount it makes me worry that I might go above the £75 surplus every couple of weeks or be unable to stick to the budget on paper. Do they require regular bank statements and receipts to prove the specified budget is being stuck to? And now Christmas is around the corner, it's putting more stress and panic into me. 



  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Forumite Posts: 5,783
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Oh blimey, please don't panic! It's only August and Christmas is far away. . . .  (it is, isn't it?!)

    Why don't you phone StepChange, one of the free debt help agencies for some good quality advice? Link below -

    A few years ago I was in a terrible financial situation and saw an ad for them (it was called CCCS at that time) and thought what did I have to lose by phoning? Answer - nothing. But such a lot to gain. Best thing I ever did because I truly was in a terrible state.

    If you want to go through with a DRO, you will have a personal advisor at StepChange to help you with it and if you phone them (free) you can have a chat and they will tell you exactly what they think. You can then have some time to consider all the options. 

    All you will need for the phone conversation is a list of your incomings and outgoings (called a Statement of Account or an SOA) and an open mind. 

    StepChange advised me that a DRO was my way out of my financial hell. Don't be scared of a DRO. I was scared and dithered about but once I'd submitted the application (through StepChange) I felt I was on the road to financial recovery. 

    Of course it's not easy, I won't pretend it is but it is worth it. Now, more then 6 years later, I'm debt free and I have learned how to budget and take care of my money. 

    Many people on this very site have had either a DRO or a bankruptcy and have lived to tell the tale. I'm one of them and if you are really determined to get on top of things, it isn't as bad as you may be thinking. 

    One free, no obligation, phone call is all it takes, you won't regret it.  Please don't panic and stress, there is some help out there and you can succeed.  :)
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Forumite Posts: 19,186
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Cashback Cashier
    I would go back to your debt adviser at the council to clarify whether they can do DROs and whether they believe you qualify.

    It would be unusual  (but not impossible) for a council-based adviser to be able to do them - they would have to get their accreditation through the Institute of Money Advisers I think.

    If you have an adviser that operates like that then you have hit lucky - stick with them.

  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Forumite, Ambassador Posts: 27,657
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 14 August 2021 at 4:32PM
    If you have a fluctuating income, it is taken and recorded as an average figure, so weekly/monthly fluctuations don`t really matter, and its recorded at that precise moment in time of your application, so as long as nothing changes, with your average budget figures, then you have no need to worry.

    If your going to go down the DRO route it is advisable to do your own research first, after your initial acceptance, you have no further contact with your intermediary, nor with the insolvency service, except to receive your confirmed DRO paperwork in the post, you are not checked up on in any way, shape or form.

    Then, if your income does increase, the onus is on you to self report any changes, if there are no changes, after 12 months, your moratorium period will end, your debts will be written off, and you will be debt free.

    I disagree with MalMonroe, a DRO is very easy to do, as long as you meet the criteria at the time of application, your circumstances do not change significantly, and you budget correctly, it really is a doddle.

    The Government is trying to encourage more use of the DRO, mainly instead of an IVA, as they are mis-sold on a gigantic scale, DRO`s are very easy and straightforward to do, of course insolvency can be a big step, but for the majority of people they won`t know there in it, and apart from credit file wise, it will have very little effect on your day to day life.

    So many people dither over what to do about there debt, you must take a common sense approach, if you are struggling with no end in sight, and you fit the DRO criteria, then go ahead and do it, you will be so glad you did.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- The "provit letter" is here-
  • 1977dave
    1977dave Forumite Posts: 90
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts Name Dropper
    Just to add my 2p worth

    I was discharged from my DRO in January, and it's the best thing I've ever done, it was so easy to set up, the hardest bit with the set up was filling in my account numbers for the debts, getting the paperwork together and figures owed, it really is that easy.

    8 months on from my DRO ending all my debts have been wiped out, my credit score has gone up by about 200 points even though the score is irrelevant it's nice to see it increasing and just upgraded my Halifax basic account to a full account and I've got a credit card with Ocean finance which I use for groceries only and pay it off in full every month, it's only a £200 limit but I don't use anywhere near that and I won't get into debt again

    It's such a weight off your shoulders once it's set up the hardest bit is waiting for the 12 months to pass, but it'll fly by and you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner

    Best wishes and hope you get it all sorted soon and are on the road to being debt free
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