Being in debt can extremely stressful but according to recent reports from the BBC (6th September 2018), up to 8.3 million people within the UK are simply unable to pay off debts or household bills.
For this very reason, many consider various debt solutions and whilst the number of people starting an IVA fell in the third quarter of 2018, the current year to date total remains 10% higher than the same period in 2017 
So, if you decide to enter into an IVA, you might want to know what impact it might have and who might find out about it.
Firstly, the good news.
If you enter into an IVA then you’re not under any legal obligation to tell anyone about it. This includes your bank, your employers or anyone else for that matter. The only exception to this rule is if it’s specifically mentioned in your contract of employment and this is certainly true for certain professions (such as solicitors or accountants). If you fall into either of these two job types then you may only be able to practice subject to certain conditions, or may not be allowed to practice at all. This is primarily due to the fact that these professions have access to client accounts and funds.
If you’re unclear about whether an IVA will affect your employment then you should refer to your contract and if necessary seek legal advice as to whether you need to inform your employer. However, if there’s no specific reference to this then there’s absolutely no reason why they need to know about it.
If your IVA gets accepted, however, then it will appear on the Insolvency Register for the duration of the arrangement (usually five or six years) and for three months thereafter. The Insolvency Register is available to view online and is free to access. However, you don’t need to inform anyone that you’re listed on it and only potential creditors are likely to view it as part of their vetting process should you choose to apply for credit.
Whilst your insolvency practitioner will tell you a lot more about the legalities surrounding your IVA the important thing to remember is that you keep him or her informed of all future changes to your personal circumstances. For example, most IVA’s contain what is known as a ‘windfall clause’. This means that should you come into money (for example, are left money in a Will, have a successful PPI/compensation claim or have a lottery win etc.) then you’ll be legally bound to declare it. However, this type of information will remain confidential between you and your chosen advisor and again, you won’t have to ‘officially’ declare it to anyone – much the same way as many lottery winners choose not to.
How can I find out more about anonymity?
Your insolvency practitioner will be able to provide you with more information about who you need to discuss your IVA company with but, as can be seen, this is very widely protected which means you can get yourself back on track without having to worry about the stigma of being in debt.
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