This page provides information on the background and policy behind Debt Relief Orders (DROs). If you have debts and are interested in obtaining a DRO, please instead go to this page:
This link provides information for advisers who wish to act as intermediaries to deal with DRO applications on behalf of clients. To be an intermediary you must apply to a competent authority for approval.
Debt Relief Orders were introduced by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and were introduced on 6 April 2009. Debt Relief Orders were created by section 108 of that act and were detailed in Schedules 17 to 20 of that Act which were inserted into the Insolvency Act 1986.
All the relevant legislation is available from the Office of Public Sector Information. The statutory instruments are listed by year and number, as detailed are below.
Details of the scheme were subject to earlier consultation and were developed further with help and input from stakeholders.
In 2004, the Department for Constitutional Affairs produced a paper which sought views on options to help deal with over-indebtedness and in particular, people in multiple debt. It identified proposals for providing better assistance to the ‘can't pay’ and ‘could pay’ groups.
That consultation reflected a need to provide a form of debt relief for the ‘can’t pay’ group who were unable to access other remedies. Further details were then subject to consultation by The Insolvency Service in 2005.
Various stakeholders then had input into the further development of the detail, including the Intermediary Working Group. This group was made up of representatives from organisations with an interest in providing debt relief to the financially excluded.