I finished mine two months ago, and have still heard nothing off the IVA practitioner that runs my IVA concerning my completion certificate apart from a rude phone call to advise that it can take '6 weeks to 6 months'.
I must say one of the most depressing things about the IVA is this final bit, where I wish they could annul it on the day of the last payment, rather than dragging it out for months and months in some sort of endless procedural nonsense.
I too think that the IVA of 5 years is too long, it's punitive, and excessive, and really we need a better way of resolving debt repayments than this. I do think the whole system is a sort of punishment for having got into debt in the first place.
As much as it has helped, it's also taken it's toll. And the 4 times my IVA was sold on to 4 different companies each year was dreadful, as I had to explain to each of the tediously incompetent companies that I had completed a whole 18 months of PPI recovery nonsense at the beginning. I would say to anyone wanting to enter into an IVA then be prepared for the long haul, and the possibility of the unnerving 'sell on' that your IVA can be a part of.
I know this might sound a bit miserable, but I think it' right for people to be aware that it's a bit of a punishing thing to enter into, even if you have paid every payment and done everything well like I did.
But the benefits are specifically being able to pay back a single amount, having no interest added, and being free of the stress and worry and having no one chasing you, ware the things that keep you going. I would advise to anyone taking one out to be honest, and to pay regularly, and try not to default. People who need these are generally poor with their finances like myself, so keep an eye on your historical bad habits. Believe me, it's better to pay this off than to convince yourself you need another treat or holiday instead, you can do that after you've finished your payments!
I think the last bit waiting for the completion certificate has been the most annoying, and as I really just want to flee all of it as soon as possible.