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National Debtline

Advice you can trust

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Debt topics


Finding the information you need


On this page we have created specific topic areas to help you find the information you need. There are links to further information about each topic.


Debt topics

Finding the information you need

On this page we have created specific topic areas to help you find the information you need. There are links to further information about each topic.

Bailiff action - business debts

  • For some of your business debts, creditors may use bailiffs to try and take control of goods to get you to pay what you owe.
  • Use this information to find out how creditors can do this for business debts such as business rent, business rates and tax, and learn more about bailiffs' powers.

Bailiff action - personal debts

  • For some of your personal debts, creditors may use bailiffs to try and take control of your goods to get you to pay what you owe.
  • Use this information to find out how creditors can do this for personal debts such as personal loans, credit cards and council tax, and learn more about bailiffs' powers.

Business borrowing

  • You may have borrowed money for your business. For example, you may have a business overdraft or a business loan.
  • You may need to treat this debt differently from a personal debt.
  • It is also important to check whether this debt is secured or unsecured.

Credit reference agencies

  • Credit reference agencies hold information about your credit agreements, other debts and your payment history.
  • They also hold information about limited companies.
  • The information a credit reference agency holds is known as a credit report.

Dealing with creditors

  • Some creditors have stronger powers than others to get their money back from you
  • It is important to learn more about creditors' powers so you can choose the best option to deal with your debts.

Personal bankruptcy

  • Bankruptcy ends liability for most debts and can give you a fresh start.
  • It deals with debts you are personally liable for, but may not deal with your business debts.
  • Bankruptcy has important advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider.

 

Business insolvency

  • If your business cannot pay its debt or does not have assets that you can sell to pay its debts, it could be insolvent.
  • Use this section to learn about the different insolvency options to help deal with your business debts and what they mean for you and your business.

Business status

  • There is a lot of confusion about what it means to be a sole trader, a partnership or  a limited company.
  • Before dealing with your debts, you need to know your business status.
  • This will help you understand what debts you are liable for and your debt options.
  • It will also help you decide which budget you should use.

Court action

  • Creditors may take court action against you if you do not pay what you owe.
  • Different creditors may use different procedures and courts to try and recover their money.
  • Use this section to learn more about different types of court action and what you can do to prevent it from happening.

Debt relief orders

  • If you have very little spare income and few assets, a debt relief order (DRO) may be a good option.
  • A DRO deals with debts that you are personally liable for, but may not deal with your business debts.
  • A DRO can give you a fresh start and stop creditors chasing you for payment.

 

Debt types

  • You may owe money to a number of different organisations. We refer to these organisations as 'creditors'.
  • Different types of creditors have different ways of getting their money back from you.
  • Think carefully about how to deal with each type of creditor. Use the information on this website to help you.

What is an IVA?

  • An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) allows you to pay part of what you owe over a fixed period, after which the rest is written off.
  • An IVA deals with your personal debts, but may not deal with your business debts.
  • It can stop creditors taking action and give you a fresh start but you usually need some spare money or assets to offer.
 

 

Business debt recovery

  • If you are owed money by a customer or another business, it can make it difficult for you to pay your own business costs and your personal creditors.
  • Use this section to learn more about the different ways to try and recover the money you are owed