What is the IVA and Insolvency Register?

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This guide takes a detailed look at the Individual Insolvency Register, including which of your personal details are shown on the register, who can access the register, and what you can do if you believe having your details on a public register might put you at risk of violence.

The IVA and insolvency register is a term used to describe the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR). This is a public database that contains the records of individual insolvencies – including IVAs, Debt Relief Orders (DROs), and bankruptcies. If you believe that having your name on this public register may put you at risk, there are ways to have your name kept private.

What is the IVA and Insolvency Register?

The IVA register – known officially as the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR) – is a public record that displays the personal details of people who have been officially declared “insolvent”, the legal term used to describe someone who is unable to pay the debts they owe.

The IIR doesn’t just show details of people who have an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) – it also records the details of people who have been declared bankrupt, obtained a debt relief order (DRO), and fast-track voluntary arrangements. The register also shows people who are at different stages of these proceedings – for example, people subject to interim bankruptcy restrictions orders that are in place as bankruptcy proceedings take place.

The register found at insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk only searches court records in England and Wales. In Scotland, The Accountant in Bankruptcy acts as Scotland’s Insolvency Service and has a similar database. In Northern Ireland, the Department for the Economy website offers similar databases open to public inspection.

What exactly does the IIR show?

According to the information on The Insolvency Service website, the IIR contains details of:

  • bankruptcies that are current or have ended in the last 3 months
  • debt relief orders that are current or have ended in the last 3 months
  • current individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) and Fast-Track voluntary arrangements (FTVAs), including those that have ended in the last 3 months
  • current bankruptcy restrictions orders or undertakings (BROs/BRUs) and interim bankruptcy restrictions orders (iBROs)
  • current debt relief restrictions orders or undertakings (DRROs/DRRUs) and interim debt relief restrictions orders (iDRROs)

What is the IVA and Insolvency Register used for?

Virtually everyone accessing the IIR is doing so for business reasons. Lenders and the credit reference agencies they use will often access it to check a person’s financial background and assess whether or not their applicant is to be considered ‘creditworthy’.

In other cases, employers may use the IIR to check to make sure a person’s financial background is suitable for a job role. This is especially important for businesses that have strict rules around who they can employ – such as financial institutions, legal services, or companies that might handle the finances of others.

Landlords and rental agencies may also check the IIR to help them decide whether a potential tenant has any financial issues that might impact their ability to pay their rent on time.

Do individuals access the IVA and Insolvency Register?

As you can see, the IIR is largely used for business purposes – so it’s rare that individuals access the register. That said, it is public, so it’s possible that anyone could search for someone’s details on there.

When accessing the database for England and Wales, you only need a person’s surname to search the records – but the records can be narrowed down by using given names too. If you want to search for businesses, you simply have to enter some or all of the company’s trading name.

Despite public access, most people aren’t aware of the service and the public nature of the records it holds – so it’s not commonly visited or accessed by individuals.

Which of your details are shown on the Insolvency Register?

If you appear on the register, it will show a number of details specific to you. These include:

  • The type of insolvency proceeding you are subject to
  • Your full name and your title
  • Your gender
  • Your occupation
  • Your date of birth details
  • The last known address for you
  • The start date and end date of your insolvency
  • The Insolvency Practitioner responsible for your case
  • The contact details for the Insolvency Practitioner handling your case

In some cases, additional information that’s relevant to your insolvency case may be included too. For instance, if the official receiver dealing with your case believes that any dishonest information has been given – details of debt relief restrictions could also be listed.

What happens if having your details listed on the public record might put you in danger?

If you are subject to insolvency proceedings and think you might be at risk  if your personal details are published online, you can apply to have your address details withheld from the register.

This would involve applying for a Persons at Risk of Violence (PARV) order. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a specific person who you think might pose a threat to you, or whether you think a threat might come from the wider public – if you or a member of your family could be at risk of violence, you can apply.

In some cases, a person might want to know if their PARV application has been successful before voluntary insolvency proceedings commence. As such, a PARV application can be made before a bankruptcy, an IVA, or a DRO order is approved. Equally, even if the proceedings have already been approved, a person can apply afterwards, and – if the PARV application is approved by the court – their address will be removed from the register.

Slightly different forms and processes are used by different local courts, so if you’d like to proceed with a PARV application at any stage, you should contact your local official receiver’s office or court. In many cases, the Insolvency Practitioner you’re working with will be able to offer you advice – or possibly even begin the process on your behalf.

A Summary: The IVA and Insolvency Register

In England and Wales, the IVA and Insolvency Register is better known as the Individual Insolvency Register – or IIR for short. It holds details of everyone who is subject to insolvency proceeedings – including bankruptcy, IVAs, and DROs.

Although access to the register is available to everyone online, it is mostly businesses who use the IIR for official purposes – generally relating to checking your financial background and assessing your creditworthiness.

If you believe that having your name appear on a public record might put you or a member of your family in danger, you can apply to your local court for a PARV order. The court will decide if the order should be granted and will remove your last known address details from the record if it is granted.

Key Takeaways

Details of all insolvency proceedings are recorded publicly on the Individual Insolvency Register
The IIR shows a number of details about you and your insolvency, including your name, last known address, occuption and gender.
The register can be accessed by anyone, but it's mostly used by businesses that are checking people's creditworthiness.
If you believe you or a family member could be in danger of violence as a result of your last known address being made public, you can apply to the court using a PARV to have it removed from the register.
Maxine McCreadie

Maxine McCreadie

Author/Debt Expert

Maxine McCreadie, prominent personal finance writer featured in Vogue and Yahoo News, delivers practical guidance, simplifying money management and championing financial literacy.

How we reviewed this article:


Our debt experts continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

May 8 2024

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Ben McCormack

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