Administration Order

Find out more about how an Administration Order works and which debts you can use it for. Then talk to a free debt adviser about whether it’s the best way to pay off or clear your debts - see Where to get help if you are in debt.

How an Administration Order works

You can apply to the County Court for an Administration Order if:
  • you have at least one County Court Judgment or Higher Court Judgment against you
  • you want to stop the people you owe money to (your creditors) from taking further action against you

A judge will decide whether to grant an Administration Order. Depending on the situation, the judge may ask you to go to a court hearing.

If the Order is agreed, all your debts are dealt with together.

You make regular monthly payments to the court for the full amount you owe to all your creditors.

The court then distributes the money between them.

Your creditors are not allowed to get in touch with you without the court’s permission.

Can I apply for an Administration Order?

You might be able to apply to County Court for an Administration Order if you:

no further harrassment

None of the creditors listed on the AO application can take further action against you without the court's permission.

  • have at least two debts
  • have at least one debt that is a County Court Judgment or Higher Court Judgment against you
  • owe under £5,000 in total
  • can afford to make regular payments towards your debts – this can be as little as £1 per debt

What is a Composition Order?

If it’s unlikely you will be able to pay the debt in full within a reasonable time, the court may agree to grant a Composition Order.

This Order allows you to pay back part of what you owe and the rest of your debt is written off.

Get free debt advice

It’s always best to talk things through with an experienced debt adviser before you decide to apply for an Administration or Composition Order.

This is because the debt solution that is best for you depends on your personal circumstances.

Free debt advisers can help you make the right decisions – meaning you could be debt free sooner than you thought.

take care

If you don't keep up with your payments, the AO can be revoked and the creditors can chase you again.

A debt adviser will:
  • treat everything you say in confidence
  • never judge you or make you feel bad about your situation
  • always be happy to talk to you, however small or big your problem is
  • suggest ways of dealing with debts that you might not know about
  • check you have applied for all the benefits and entitlements available to you
  • give advice about better ways of managing your money

You may only need to have one conversation with an experienced debt adviser to make sure that your plan to manage or clear your debts is the right one for you.

If you need more support or don’t know where to start, you’re not alone.

Nearly half of people in debt told us they aren’t sure about the best way to pay off their debts, and that is where a debt adviser can really help you.

Over eight out of ten people who have got debt advice tell us they feel less stressed or anxious and more in control of their life again.

The people that let debts build up before they seek advice often find things have spiralled out of control, their cards are maxed out, no-one else will lend to them, things have spiralled out of control, and it takes much longer to pay back what they owe.

You can contact a debt adviser in a way that’s best for you – online, over the phone or face-to-face.

So join the hundreds of thousands of people who get help each year and take the first step to being debt free - see Where to get help if you are in debt.

Last reviewed: 13/03/2019

This content has been provided by the Money Advice Service