Home equity release in an IVA

Home equity release in an IVA

An IVA is designed to protect your home from your creditors. However if you start one you will have to sign up to an equity release clause. So what does this mean?

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What is the IVA home equity release clause?

If you are a home owner your IVA will include an equity release clause. This states that where possible and reasonable you have to release cash from your property. This will be paid it into the Arrangement over and above your monthly payments to increase the amount your creditors get back.

The clause comes into effect in month 54 of your IVA. At that point your IVA company will ask you to establish the value of your equity by providing an up to date valuation and mortgage statement. If your share of any equity is more than £5000 you will have to try and release some of this.

For the purposes of an IVA the calculation of equity is based on 85% of the value of your property. So if it is valued at £200,000 the equity calculation will use a value of £170,000.

Your home is not as risk as long as you follow the obligations set out in your IVA proposal. The equity clause has strict guidelines on how much you can be asked to release and what happens if you are refused a remortgage.

Struggling to get your head round all of this? We can help. Call us (0800 011 4712) or complete the form at the bottom of this page. The advice is free and confidential.

How much equity do you have to release?

Where your share of your property equity is £5000 or less (based on 85% of the market value) you do not have to take any further action. The release clause is ignored and your IVA will end as normal after your last monthly payment has been made.

If your property is owned in joint names with someone else their equity can’t be touched. Only your share is considered. If this is worth more than £5000 you must try to release some of it by either remortgaging or with a secured loan. The amount you have to release is limited in the following way:

Your overall mortgage and secured loan payments cannot increase by more than 50% of your current monthly IVA contribution. So for example if your current IVA payments are £200/mth your mortgage payment can not increase by more than £100/mth. This will significantly restrict the amount of equity that you are able to release.

The IVA equity release rules for Protocol Compliant IVAs were updated in September 2021. For these type’s of IVA, if you have less than £5k equity on day one, you do not now have to revalue your home or release equity in year 54.

What if you are unable to release any money from your home?

Even if your share of the home equity is greater than £5000 you may not actually be able release any of it. There could be a number of reasons for this.

Firstly given your poor credit rating very few lenders will consider you. The ones that do will charge high rates of interest. This will often mean that to release anything at all your mortgage payments would have to go up by more than 50% of your IVA payment. This is not allowed. On top of that your age may be a limiting factor or a joint owner may simply refuse to give their consent to make any mortgage changes.

If given all these limitations you are unable to release any equity no further action is taken regarding your property. Instead your IVA will be extended for an additional 12 months. During this time your current payments continue and you remain subject to the conditions regarding increases in income or windfalls.

If you cannot release the equity in your property for whatever reason it is yours to keep. After the first review in month 54 it can’t be reconsidered.


22 thoughts on “Home equity release in an IVA

    Sennie says:

    When we sign the iva proposal does this mean we have to release the equity of our house. do we have to release the equity at 54months. does it mean we have to give the equity of our home

      Hi Sennie,

      As a home owner, the nature of the equity release clause you will sign up to depends on the terms and conditions of your IVA.

      In most IVAs started before Sept 2021 (and many after this), the clause states that in month 54 you have to get a valuation of your property so the equity can be calculated. If the total equity (or your share if jointly owned) based on 85% of the market value at the time is less than £5000, you don’t have to do anything. You complete your IVA payments after month 60 and the Arrangement ends with no further requirement to release equity.

      Where the total equity (based on 85% of the valuation) is greater than £5000, you must try to release some of this by a remortgaging or getting a secured loan.

      If either of these options are possible, the amount you have to release is restricted by the fact that the amount you pay towards the new mortgage or secured loan can’t be more than 50% of the amount of your current IVA payment. If you can’t get a remortgage or secured loan for any reason, the equity release is ignored and you pay an extra 12 months of your IVA (72 months in total).

      Despite what I have said above, in September 21, the terms and conditions of SOME new IVAs were changed to try and make things easier. So now, for so called Protocol Compliant IVA’s, if the equity in your property is less than £5k at the start date, the agreement will be just 5 years and there will be no requirement to get a valuati0on or release equity in month 54. Where the equity is greater than £5k, you will only have to try and release equity in month 54 if certain criteria apply. If not, your IVA will last 72 months.

      You can read more information about this here: New homeowner equity release rules

      As you can see, this is a very complex area and one you need to understand 100% before signing up to an IVA. If you would like to call and chat it through with me, I would be happy to give you further advice (0800 011 4712). This is free and confidential.

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