What is an administration order?

An administration order (AO) is a formal and legally-binding agreement between you and your creditors to pay back your debts over a period of time. It’s approved by the court and your creditors have to stick to it.

Is an AO right for me?

You could apply for an AO if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your debts must be no more than £5000 in total
  • You must have an unpaid county court judgment (CCJ). This can include a traffic penalty registered for enforcement in the Traffic
  • Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court.
  • You must have two or more debts.

If you don’t have a county court judgment and you want an administration order you will need to wait for one of your creditors to take court action against you. As soon as the judgment is entered you can apply for an administration order.

Does an administration order include all your debts?

Where there is a joint debt each person is responsible for paying back the full amount. You can’t take out an administration jointly with the other person who shares your debt. If you include a joint debt in an administration order, the other person could still be chased by the creditor for the debt, unless they also apply for a separate administration order.

If you have mortgage or rent arrears, it is advisable to ask for these to be left out of the AO.

How do the repayments work?

The court will look at your financial situation and tell you how much you should pay each month. You have to pay the monthly amount to the court who will then distribute the money to your creditors.

You can apply for a composition order where there is a time limit on how long you pay for. This is usually three years. As long as you stick to the repayments, the rest of the debt is written off at the end of the time limit.

How do you apply?

To apply, fill in the AO application form (form N92) and take it to your local county court.

How much does it cost?

There’s no upfront fee. The court keeps 10% of your monthly payment to cover their costs.

What happens at the end of an administration order?

An administration order lasts until the debts are cleared and the court fees paid. If there is a composition order, there will be a time limit on how long you pay for, usually three years. At the end of that time, you no longer owe the debts in the administration order.

An administration order lasts until the debts are cleared and the court fees paid. If there is a composition order, there will be a time-limit on how long you pay for, usually three years. At the end of that time, you no longer owe the debts in the administration order.

At the end of the AO, you can ask the court for a certificate of satisfaction which costs £15.

Administration orders are entered on the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines and stay on the register for six years. This information also appears on your credit file. The court will change the record on the register to say the administration order has been paid off.