This page explains why your debt relief order (DRO) application might be refused and what you can do about it.

Top tip

If you need help asking for your DRO application to be reconsidered, speak to your DRO adviser.

Why was your DRO application refused?

If your DRO application is refused you’ll be given written reasons explaining why. This may be because:

  • you don’t meet all the criteria for getting a DRO
  • you didn’t provide further information when asked
  • the official receiver believes that you haven’t been honest in your application.

If you think the decision is unfair or wrong

If you think the decision about your DRO application is unfair or wrong, you have the right to ask the court to decide whether it should be changed.

However, before asking the court, you should always first ask the official receiver to reconsider their decision. This means your application will be looked at again to see if the original decision was correct.

You can request this for any reason, but you’re only likely to be successful if you can show:

  • you did meet all the criteria
  • you did co-operate with the official receiver’s requests for more information
  • you were honest in your application.

How to ask for the decision to be changed

If you want to ask the official receiver to reconsider their decision, you should speak to the DRO adviser who made your application. If you have grounds to challenge the decision, ask the DRO adviser to help you write to the official receiver. In your letter, set out the reasons why you think the decision should be changed and include any evidence you have to support your case.

Coronavirus – if you need a hearing urgently

At the moment, the court might take a long time to arrange a hearing.

Tell the court if you need the hearing urgently – you can tell them before or after you apply for the hearing. Email the court at – in your email, make sure you tell them:

  • what you need the hearing for
  • why the hearing’s urgent
  • who needs to be at the hearing
  • how long the hearing’s likely to take
  • how long the judge is likely to need to read through the documents before the hearing

If you don’t know all of this information, tell the court in your email.

The hearing will normally be by video call using Skype for Business. If you can’t use Skype for Business, tell the court if you can use other video call software or if you want your hearing to be over the phone.

You’ll still have to apply for the hearing when the court replies to your email.

If you can’t get the decision changed

If your application is still refused by the official receiver, you can take court action. However, you should always give the official receiver the chance to reconsider their decision before you do this. Always speak to your DRO adviser first if you’re considering this kind of action. They can help you to decide whether this would be the best course of action for you.

Can you get your application fee back?

You can’t ask for a refund of your application fee if your DRO application is turned down. This means it’s really important to be sure that you definitely meet the criteria before you apply.

Next steps