Andrew Smith, the marketing director of Clear Debt, explained the concept of IVAs and how they cap the amount of debt that people have to repay without many of the negative effects of bankruptcy.
“The only people who can take advantage of an IVA are people who are genuinely insolvent; who are broke,” said Mr Smith on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
However, he added that taking one “means your creditors can no longer chase you for payment and, as long as you make all your payments, at the end of the IVA a substantial proportion of the debt you owe is written off”.
Latest figures from the Insolvency Service show the popularity of IVAs, with there being a 153 per cent increase in their take up in just a year.
Mr Smith said that creditors are keen to see people in debt take out an IVA rather than bankruptcy as repayments are fixed at a monthly amount in return for a freeze on debt.
But Mr Smith warned against adverts which imply that IVAs or bankruptcy are the easy option to clear debt and urged people to seek debt advice before taking out an arrangement.