3. Administration orders

An administration order is a way to deal with debt if you have a county court or High Court judgment against you and you can’t pay in full.

The debt must be less than £5,000.

You make 1 payment a month to your local court. The court will divide this money between your creditors.

Creditors listed on the administration order can’t take any further action against you without the court’s permission.

The Money Advice Service has information on organisations that can give you free advice about whether an administration order is right for you.

Get an administration order

Fill in an application for an administration order (N92), and return it to your local court.

The court decides:

  • how much of your debt you have to repay, eg all or just part of it
  • how much your monthly repayments will be
  • how long the arrangement lasts

The arrangement is known as a ‘composition order’ if you can’t pay all your debts.


There’s a court fee each time you make a payment. This can’t be more than 10% of your debt.

Example If you owe £5,000 the total fee can’t be more than £500.


You must:

  • owe less than £5,000, including any interest and charges
  • owe money to at least 2 creditors
  • prove you can afford regular repayments, eg give details of your income
  • have a county court or High Court judgment against you, which you can’t pay in full

Your responsibilities

You must keep up your repayments or the court can:

  • ask your employer take money from your wages – known as an ‘attachment of earnings order’
  • cancel the arrangement

You may still be able to keep your business running, if you have one.

Public records

Your administration order is added to the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines.

It’s usually removed 6 years after the date the order was made.

Your entry is marked as ‘satisfied’ if you repay your debts in full.

You can also ask the court for a ‘certificate of satisfaction’. To do this, write to the court and send a cheque for £15 (made payable to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service).