Police Officers Dealing With Debt Problems

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Police officers experience debt problems like everyone else. You can use the main debt solutions, but advance employer disclosure is required. Failing to disclose an insolvency (like an IVA) could put your employment at risk.


Our experienced debt advice team has helped numerous police officers to deal with their debts. Our senior debt adviser has previously met with Police Federation and Welfare representatives. For expert friendly advice, please contact us today.


Employer Risk Control Process


Your work is often sensitive, so your employer uses risk control procedures. If you’re struggling to manage your debts, your employer perceives two potential risks.


The main risk is that your work performance is affected. Money worries cause stress that can leave people distracted. Financial problems also affect people’s mental wellbeing, which can also spill over into physical health issues. If you disclose your debt concerns to your employer, they can arrange support if it’s necessary. Providing support, and arranging a suitable debt solution, reduces the risk of poor performance at work.


Your employer is also concerned about police officers becoming financially vulnerable. While the vast majority of officers will continue to act with total integrity, a few may become more exposed to corrupt activity. If you’ve disclosed your debt concerns to your employer, the matter is now out in the open. From an employer perspective, this reduces the risk of corruption.


It’s clear that dealing with debt is positive for you and your employer. Disclosing your intention to enter a debt solution may feel uncomfortable, but it’s in the best interests of all concerned. Modern employers understand the realities of widespread credit availability. They seek to support good employees who have got into financial difficulty.


Disclosure Obligations


If you plan to enter a personal insolvency process, you must provide advance disclosure to your employer. An IVA is a form of personal insolvency. It’s available if you live in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Bankruptcy or a Debt Relief Order are also a personal insolvency process.


If you’re subject to legal debt recovery procedures, you must disclose this to your employer. An example is an application for a County Court Judgment (CCJ).


Certain forces provide a formal “disclosable debt procedure” or “unmanageable debt procedure” to clarify police officer debt obligations. They vary from force to force rather than being a standard UK policy. You can find the publicly available procedures (PDF format) for Nottinghamshire Police and  North Wales Police online for example. Other forces may only publish their policies internally.


Disclosable issues often include:


• Cannot afford to repay your debts

• Bankruptcy


• Debt Relief Order

• County Court Judgment

• Debt management plan


If any of these apply to you, or you expect them to apply to you, disclosure may be required. Professional Standards is usually the appropriate contact point


Potential Debt Solutions


An IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) is just one of the debt solutions you might choose. Please find a short summary of each of the major debt solutions available in the UK (excluding Scotland). Each summary includes a link to a more in-depth description of that debt management solution.


IVA – Individual Voluntary Arrangement


An IVA is an alternative to bankruptcy. You offer a reduced repayment plan to the creditors.  This repayment plan is typically scheduled for five years, but it could be longer in some circumstances. If you complete the IVA, any remaining unpaid debt gets written-off.


This debt solution may be helpful if your overall level is relatively high. You’ll receive formal legal protection from your creditors. Homeowners often prefer an IVA to bankruptcy because assets can be dealt with more flexibly. Read more…


Debt Management Plan (DMP)


Debt management is a less formal way to deal with debts. Creditors are asked to accept a reduced payment and to stop charging interest. No debt gets written off, so the plan continues until your debts have been cleared.


Your debt management plan provider deals with creditors and sends them your payments. A DMP might be suitable if your total debt level isn’t huge or if you own significant assets that would be put at risk in insolvency. Your assets aren’t taken into account with a debt management plan.


Debt management plans can also help police officers with shorter-term debt worries. This could apply if you’re soon to receive a retirement lump sum or the proceeds from an injury claim. Read more…




Bankruptcy can be the best way to resolve an overwhelming debt problem. In some circumstances it can be the fastest and cheapest way to become free of debt. You should get discharged from your debts after a year, but contributions (if deemed to be affordable) will be payable for three years.


The bankruptcy fee in England and Wales is £680 and applications get submitted online. This debt solution takes into account your assets. It may be unsuitable for many homeowners or for people who expect to receive a lump sum in the near future. Read more…


Debt Relief Order


This is an alternative to bankruptcy for those with a limited debt total, few assets, and very little surplus income. The application fee is just £90, making it much more accessible than bankruptcy. You’ll usually be discharged from a Debt Relief Order (and your debts) within one year.


To qualify for a DRO your debts must total no more than £20,000, you cannot be a homeowner, and your surplus income must be less than £50 per month. Read more…


Getting Expert Debt Advice


We’ve helped lots of policemen and policewomen to address their debts Our expert advice team offers you friendly confidential help.


To discuss an IVA or other potential debt solutions, please contact us today.



Author: Andrew Graveson

Qualified Debt Adviser & IVA-Guide.co.uk Founder


Page Last Updated: 23/04/2020



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