Debt relief order (DRO)

DROs were introduced by the Government in 2007 to help those with few assets and relatively small debts to recover financially. DROs have proven to be a popular insolvency measure, particularly amongst people with low incomes. All DROs must be made with the assistance of an ‘intermediary’ approved by the Insolvency Service. This can be a solicitor, a qualified accountant or an insolvency practitioner.

✓   Write off unaffordable debt
✓   One monthly repayment
✓   Only pay what you can afford
✓   Become debt free

Bennett Jones is associated with The Debt Advisor Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide debt advice. An IVA may not be suitable in all circumstances. Fees may apply. Entering into an IVA will affect your credit rating. You could write off up to 80% of your debts upon successful completion of an IVA.(10% of our customers wrote off 80% in the last 12 months, with a typical figure of 25%-75%).

See if you are eligible

An IVA is an alternative to a DRO but there are certain criteria that must be met (such as debt level, number of creditors and an ability to pay more than £75 each month). So an IVA may not be suitable for many people. If you feel another option such as a DRO is preferable, you will be provided with enough information to make an informed decision. You will then be signposted to a regulated provider who can help you with an alternative option.

A DRO stops your creditors from taking any action against you for 12 months. If your financial position improves during this time, you may be expected to recommence payments of your debts. If you are still not earning sufficient income within a year, these debts will be discharged and your creditors will not be able to claim any more money from you.

Bennett Jones has helped thousands of people solve their debt problems. We understand how stressful and difficult life is when you cannot pay your debts and your bills.

You can trust Bennett Jones to help you if you are struggling to pay your debts.

We are proud of our 5* Trustpilot reviews

June 2024, Lynne


Patient and understanding debt management advice. From the beginning to the end of my five year journey to take control of my debt everyone at Bennett Jones have been nothing but kind and supportive. Always supporting me without making me feel uncomfortable about my circumstances and explaining everything very patiently, showing understanding of how difficult this can be for someone to undertake and guiding me gently through concerns and daft questions. Thank you for your assistance in taking back control and making a fresh start after a particularly challenging time in my life.

June 2024, Safman


Excellent communication and support. From my first call 5 years back and the last one today. Bennett Jones has helped me a lot. They were there to guide through out the journey. Much appreciated.

May 2024, Adam


I would like to thank Bennett Jones for helping me with my IVA proposal. I'm a glass half full person but the realities of life and unforseen circumstances with finances had taken its toll. Bennett Jones have helped me to have a fresh start and take control back of my finances. It's a huge load lifted off my shoulders.......

April 2024, Beverley


I would like to thank Bennett Jones for all their help over the past 5 years.. I was in a pretty dark place financially. And through the debt advice helpline I found Bennett Jones.. From start to finish they have been professional sympathetic and always helpful. I've recommended friends who are also happy with their service. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.

Would I qualify for a DRO?

It is likely that your DRO application will be approved if:

  • You can prove you cannot pay your debts
  • You owe no more than £50,000
  • Your assets are not worth more than £2,000
  • Your vehicle is worth less than £4,000 (in Northern Ireland less than £2,000)
  • You cannot own your own home
  • Your monthly disposable income after household expenses is less than £75
  • You live in England or Wales
  • There is no fee to apply for a DRO

There are additional criteria you may need to meet, and our trusted partner, The Debt Advisor Ltd will be able to tell you if you qualify. Debt Relief Orders are for people with relatively low levels of debt who own few assets and have low surplus income. You cannot already be involved in other insolvency procedures such as an IVA or bankruptcy.

Learn more about obtaining a DRO

Our trusted partner, The Debt Advisor Ltd can provide you with information about the application process, as well as what a DRO entails. You could be referred to a DRO intermediary who can help you obtain a DRO if this is your chosen solution for your debt problems.

Debts covered by a DRO

Debts that can go into a DRO are called ’qualifying debts’. During the DRO period, creditors can’t ask you for payments – if they do, you don’t have to pay them. They include:

  • credit cards, overdrafts and loans
  • arrears with rent, utility bills, telephone bills, council tax and income tax
  • benefits overpayments
  • buy now – pay later agreements
  • bills for services like vets or solicitors
  • debts you owe to friends and family
  • business debts