Managing multiple debts: experiences of County Court Administration Orders among debtors, creditors and advisorsAuthors: Elaine Kempson, Sharon Collard
Funded by: Department for Constitutional Affairs
Published by: Department for Constitutional Affairs
Publication date: July 2004
The Administration Order scheme is a county court-based debt repayment scheme for individuals with debts of no more than £5,000, one of which must be a judgement debt. Once an Administration Order is made, the court takes over the management of the debts. No further action can be taken by the creditors listed in the Administration Order to recover their debt, without leave of the court.
The overall aim of this study was to provide a 'walk through' of Administration Orders from the perspective of debtors and creditors, to inform options for the reform of Administration Orders. Within this, there were a number of more specific objectives:
- To investigate the impact of entry criteria, including how they affect debtor's entry to the Administration Order scheme.
- To explore how debtors and creditors view the Administration Order process including which parts of the process are the most helpful, how easy debtors find it to comply with an Order, and creditors' views of the impact of Orders on the likelihood of receiving repayment.
- To determine whether or not Administration Orders benefit debtors and, if they do, to ascertain whether it is in terms of enforcement relief, assistance with financial management or debt relief.
- To explore the impact Administration Orders have on the debtors' circumstances.
- To ascertain whether Administration Orders enable debtors to make a 'fresh start'.
- To identify how Administration Orders might be amended to make a more effective tool of debt enforcement.
The study was essentially qualitative, involving depth interviews with debtors who have Administration Orders, selected from the court records of four country courts across England. It also included depth interviews with creditors and debt advisers. In addition, data collected from court files by staff in the Civil Justice Division was analysed.
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