I was reading about a financial instrument we have available here in the UK called an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) which is a formal and legally binding agreement between someone in debt and his creditors. It’s not quite a free ride through because although the terms of may vary, creditors will expect that their prospects of recovering money will be at least as good as in bankruptcy. Creditors also don’t lose their right to bankrupt you if you don’t fulfil your part of the agreement.
In order for the IVA to be binding, a minimum of 75% of creditors must agree to the IVA proposals. Creditors can suggest changes, however you must agree these in order for them to be implemented. The proposals usually call for the party in debt to make monthly payments and a dividend is paid out to creditors in full and final settlement of their debts.
The reason why creditors usually go for this sort of arrangement is because they expect a larger repayment than they would otherwise get if the debtor were made bankrupt. This is enough incentive for them to accept the IVA.
If you need to go down this route, it is always advisable to get a professional to guide you through the process. There are a number of organisations who will help you to avoid bankruptcy and get back on your feet. If you want to learn more about IVAs, check out the FAQ page on ClearDebt’s website.