Sometimes known as an AO, find out more information here

An Administration Order is a repayment plan set by the County Court. It is a formal and legally-binding agreement between you and your creditors to pay back your debts over a period of time. It is suitable for people with a county court or High Court judgment against them and you can’t pay in full. There are strict qualifying criteria you must meet in order to apply for an AO.

In order to qualify for an AO you’ll need to meet the following criteria;

  • You live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
  • Debts that are no more than £5000 in total, including interest and charges
  • Have a county court (CCJ) or High Court judgment against you, which you can’t pay in full
  • Owe money to at least 2 creditors
  • Prove you can afford regular repayments, e.g. give details of your income.

Please find below an outline of the Risks/Disadvantages, costs and advantages of a Administration Order (AO).



There’s no upfront fee. The court keeps 10% of your monthly payment to cover their costs. Example; if you owe £5,000 the total fee can’t be more than £500.



As an AO is legally binding, the creditors included in the order can’t contact you for payment or add anymore interest or charges to your debts once the administration order has been approved.

You make one monthly payment to your local court. The court will divide this money between your creditors.



An administration order will appear on your credit file for six years from the date of the order. It also appears on the public Register of Judgments for six years. During this time you’ll find it much harder to take out any further credit.

Sometimes a Judge may leave out some debts. This is most likely to happen with debts such as council tax arrears or criminal fines.

To alter the payment or cancel the administration order. You may need to go to a hearing to arrange this.

Change in Circumstances: You can write to the court and ask to alter the payment or cancel the administration order. You may need to go to a hearing to arrange this.

Creditor Objection: A creditor can object to being in the order and ask the court to leave them out. If this happens, the court will call a hearing to decide whether it’s fair to leave the debt in the order.

Missed Payments: The court can ask your employer to take money from your wages- known as an ‘attachment of earnings order’, or the order may be cancelled.



The law does not specifically exclude any particular debt from an AO and when you apply for an AO, you must list all your debts in the application. However, any creditor can object to being included. It is up to the district judge to decide if any debts are left out. If you have mortgage or rent arrears, it is advisable to ask for these to be left out of the AO.

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.