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Administration Order (AO)


An administration order (AO) is a county court order that covers credit debts and certain other debts. It allows you to make a single payment every month to the court. The court then divides the money amongst your creditors on a pro-rata basis. An administration order stops creditors from taking further action against you.

Whilst an administration order is in place, the creditors listed on it cannot take any action against you without first getting the court’s permission. Any interest and other charges that were being added on to the debts are stopped.

You do not have to pay a fee up front to the court for an administration order. The court will take a handling fee of ten pence out of every pound you pay in over the time the order lasts. This means the handling fee is 10% of your total debts. The fee is deducted from your payments to the court.

You can get an administration order if:

  • you have at least two debts

  • you have at least one county court or High Court judgment against you

  • the total of your debts is less than £5,000

You apply for an administration order on an N92 form. Once the order is in place, you make payments to the court and not to the creditors.

Unless the judge makes a ‘composition order’ (see below) or you stop making regular payments, an administration order will go on until all the debts are paid off in full.

Details of your administration order will be recorded on credit reference files for a period of six years. 

If you are only paying a very small amount to your creditors which means that your administration order could go on for years, the district judge might make a composition order. This means that you only have to pay part of your debts, usually an amount that you could manage to pay over a three-year period.

A debt help provider can advise on whether an AO is suitable for you. You can find them easily on