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If you’ve done some research about ways to tackle your debt, you might have seen the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR) mentioned.
In this guide, we’ll explore the IIR in more detail, explaining what it is, what the register shows, what kind of debt solutions are included, how long you might stay on the register, and whether or not it’s something you should worry about.
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The Individual Insolvency Register is a publicly available register of people in England and Wales who have used a debt solution. The register shows information about people who have used bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangements, or debt relief orders to help them get back on top of what they owe.
The register also shows if people have had any further restrictions put on the debt solution they are using. For instance, if a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) or similar penalty has been imposed.
There is a similar register in Scotland – the Register of Insolvencies – and, in Northern Ireland, there’s the Individual Voluntary Arrangement Register.
Although the register can be searched by the public, it’s almost exclusively used by employers, landlords, credit reference agencies and lenders to check on the details of someone’s insolvency.
The personal or financial information that’s shown on the IIR will vary a little depending on the type of debt solutions you’re using. However, for a bankruptcy, an IVA, or a Debt Relief Order, the register will almost always show:
The register also shows some extra details for people who are subject to additional arrangements and orders, including:
All this information is shown so that anyone using the register can be sure they’re looking at the right person.
Officially, details of debt solutions are ‘published’ on something officially referred to as ‘the public register’. The IIR is part of this public register – along with a newspaper called The Gazette.
The Gazette isn’t a typical newspaper though. Instead, it’s a weekly ‘newspaper of record’ that’s used to list official notices. The information it contains is also available on the Gazette website free of charge.
Some people think that this information is shared in your local or national newspaper, but this is very unlikely to be the case. This happens very rarely and only if you’re found to be hiding assets or not cooperating with the official receiver dealing with your debt solution.
Yes. It’s not something that’s done routinely, but if having your address published on the IIR or the Gazette puts you at risk of violence or harm, then you can apply to the court and ask that your details are withheld from both.
If this is something you’re concerned about, your debt solution provider will be able to explain how this is done.
How long your information stays on the register depends on the debt solution being used.
Bankruptcy cases stay on the IIR for 3 months after the date of discharge. If the bankruptcy is cancelled because of an error, the record is removed after 28 days of the cancellation. However, if the bankruptcy is cancelled because the debts are paid off or an IVA is approved, the bankruptcy will show on the register for 3 months.
Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) stay on the register for 3 months after the arrangement has terminated, cancelled, or you’ve completed paying your debts.
Debt relief orders will stay on the register for 3 months after the moratorium period (the 12 month period that a DRO usually runs for) has ended or the DRO is cancelled.
If additional orders, undertakings, or restrictions have been put on a Debt Relief Order, they will stay on the IIR until the date outlined on the court order.
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When you apply for credit, the lender you’re applying with will usually look at the Individual Insolvency Register to help them decide whether or not to lend to you.
However, the IIR is just one part of the credit checking process. Chances are, if you’re on the register you’ll have already been struggling with debts, and your credit score will have already been negatively affected. What’s more, not getting any extra credit will almost certainly be a condition of the debt solution you’ve signed up for.
So, yes – being on the IIR will likely mean you have a poor credit score – but it’s also likely to be an important part of the journey towards getting a much better credit score in the future.
It can feel a bit intimidating to think that your details are on a publicly available register for all to see, but in reality, the IIR really isn’t something most people should be worried about.
Firstly, the fact that you appear on the IIR means your finances are on the road to recovery. Millions of people around the UK are facing problem debt – and most of those people are yet to seek any help.
Secondly, it’s extremely unlikely that anyone you know is going to search for you on the register. Most people don’t know the Individual Insolvency Register exists, let alone how to do an IVA or Debt Relief Restrictions search.
So, if you’re considering an IVA, don’t let the insolvency register put you off. It’s almost exclusively used by financial organisations – and when current individual voluntary arrangements are done, and your details are removed, you’re likely to be in a much better financial situation for moving forward with your life.