The COVID-19 situation continues to develop at pace and for those in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, this is a stressful and confusing time.
We have created a frequently asked questions sheet below which should hopefully help put your mind at rest.
Will JT Maxwell be open to deal with my query?
Following the Government’s announcement on 16 March, the majority of our team are now working from home. As a business, we were prepared to initiate our business continuity procedures, and these plans are now fully operational. Aside from face to face meetings, it is business as usual and you can continue to contact us via the usual methods.
We are always happy to deal with any queries and to give advice over the phone, even if you are not yet a client of ours. If we can help you out with a bit of free advice we are only too happy to – we’re all in this together.
What if COVID-19 affects my household income?
If the affordability of your arrangement is affected in such a way by COVID-19, you should try to obtain evidence to provide to the Supervisor of your IVA – an example would be a document from your employer confirming the closure of your place of work.
Under ordinary circumstances, the Supervisor of your IVA would need to confirm to your creditors that he has received this evidence in order for any relief to be provided. However, given the extraordinary circumstances we are facing, and in light of the Government’s newly adapted approach to benefit claims, this kind of evidence may or may not be necessary. It’s a developing situation and we will keep you informed.
What if I can’t afford to pay all of my monthly payment?
Your Supervisor has the discretion of reducing your payment by up to 15% without having to ask permission from your creditors. This can be authorised immediately on receipt of supporting evidence of the unaffordability (again, if this evidence is deemed necessary under COVID-19 circumstances).
What if I can’t pay any of my monthly payment?
Dependent on the terms of your arrangement, your Supervisor should have the discretion to allow payment holidays throughout the term. These are usually authorised on a month by month basis and as above, will usually only be authorised on receipt of the relevant evidence, again there may be exceptions made in these unusual circumstances we face. These are then repaid at the end of the arrangement.
What if my financial position doesn’t change in the near future, will my IVA fail?
If your circumstances change so significantly that the original agreed arrangement can no longer continue, with the relevant evidence, we can go back to creditors and request a variation to your IVA. This, in essence is a new agreement and will need to be approved by creditors.
The government have announced support for individuals who are affected by COVID-19.
For people who need to make a new claim for financial support:
- those affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance up front without physically attending a jobcentre
- the 7 waiting days for ESA for new claimants will not apply if they are suffering from coronavirus or are required to stay at home – so it will be payable from day one
For the full article and guidance on how to claim please visit:
There will be a number of ways to deal with the long term effects of COVID-19 and any advice we provide will be tailored to each individual query and individual arrangement.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office on 02892 448111 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org