APPLICATION FOR A DRO
The official receiver is not involved in the process of gathering the information for the DRO application or completion of the application form. The official receiver’s role begins once the application has been submitted and, at this point, he/she is required to review the application and, if appropriate, grant the DRO (see Part 3 for information on the determination process).
This Part of the chapter gives a brief overview of the application process.
As part of this process, the intermediary is required to ensure that the debtor meets the eligibility for a DRO (see Part 1). The intermediary is assisted in this task by guidance in the form of “pop-ups” in the web application form (see paragraph 46.38) [note 2] and intermediary guidance notes issued by The Service.
The intermediary cannot stop a debtor from making an ineligible application, but must note the application to show that it has been submitted against the advice of the intermediary. [note 3] [note 4].
The application process is, largely, an electronic process, with the application being completed electronically, on-line, and sent to the official receiver electronically.
The procedure requires that the application is printed, signed by the debtor and the signed copy sent to the official receiver. This is to ensure that it can be shown that the debtor was aware of the information in the application and was in agreement with the submission.
The current fee payable in respect of an application for a DRO is £90 [note 5]. The fee is for the performance of the official receiver of his functions and for the payment of an amount (not exceeding £10) in respect of the costs of the intermediary.
The fee must be paid on or before the date that the application is submitted and must be paid at either the Post Office or a Payzone outlet.
See paragraph 46.40 regarding the instalment payment plan.
The debtor may pay the application fee (see paragraph 46.39) in instalments at a Payzone (http://www.payzone.co.uk/) type facility, or the Post Office (http://www.postoffice.co.uk). Once the on-line completion of an application has been started the debtor will be provided with a bar-coded letter which is used to ensure that the instalment payment is allocated to the correct application.
The instalment payments must be completed before, or on the day, that the application is submitted.
The type and amount of information that must be supplied in support of the application is provided for in the legislation [note 6] [note 7]. The extent of this information is very similar to the information that must be provided by a debtor in an application for an bankruptcy. Without going into detail here, it would be sufficient to say that the legislation requires the debtor to provide sufficient information to allow the official receiver to make a decision whether to approve or decline a DRO application (see Part 3), based on the eligibility criteria (see Part 1).
The intermediary is not allowed to charge a debtor a fee in connection with assistance provided in respect of an application for a DRO [note 8].