The Insolvency Service operates a Debt Relief scheme which enables individuals burdened by moderate amounts of debt which they cannot afford to pay to apply to the Official Receiver for an Order which gives them relief similar to that provided by a Bankruptcy Order made by the High Court, but at much lower cost. For a payment of £90 the individual obtains protection against enforcement action by their creditors for a one year period, at the end of which they are fully discharged from liability to pay the debts covered by the Debt Relief Order.
The Northern Ireland scheme is similar to a Debt Relief scheme in operation in England and Wales.
Individuals can only access the schemes if their total debt, their total assets, the value of their vehicle, if they have one for domestic use, and their surplus monthly income are below prescribed amounts.
Legislation was made in England and Wales during 2021 to increase the amounts specified for the purposes of the scheme in England and Wales. This consultation deals with proposals for similar increases to the amounts specified for the purposes of the Northern Ireland scheme