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What is Bankruptcy?

What happens during Bankruptcy?

Common questions

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Bankruptcy is a legal arrangement that writes off the debt you can't afford to repay.

Unable to pay back your unsecured debts in a reasonable period of time?

Bankruptcy is a form of insolvency and is normally only suitable if you are unable to pay back your debts in a reasonable period of time. Bankruptcy is only available if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (In Scotland, the process is called sequestration).

Will it affect my credit history?

Bankruptcy can seriously affect your credit rating. It will show up on your credit file for six years and you may be asked in future applications for credit or employment if you have ever been bankrupt.

Payments under Bankruptcy

You'll only have to make payments towards your unsecured debts if you can really afford to. The Official Receiver will tell you if you have to make monthly payments.

How long does bankruptcy last

Bankruptcy usually lasts for 12 months. Once you're discharged your outstanding unsecured debt will be written off and you can make a fresh start.

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Bankruptcy is available subject to eligibility and acceptance, alternative solutions may be offered. Fees payable if continuing services are provided. Our fees are explained here.

To find other sources of free advice visit Money Helper. It’s here to listen and give free, impartial, trusted guidance. Based around you and backed by government.

Bankruptcy can help rid you of debt that would otherwise take years to clear

You'll receive no further contact from your creditors...


Speak to one of our Money Advisors about your personal circumstances, we'll be able to advise if Bankruptcy is the most suitable solution for you.


If Bankruptcy is the right solution for you, you will need to complete an online application called a petition. We can help you prepare this.

This petition is then submitted to an adjudicator at the Insolvency Service.


Once received, the Insolvency Service will consider your application. If it’s accepted, a bankruptcy order will be made and your lenders will be made aware. They then can’t contact you for payments for the next 12 months.


At the end of the 12 months, if your circumstances haven't improved, you'll be automatically discharged, and all of your outstanding debts included in the Bankruptcy will be written off.

Bankruptcy can have serious implications for your future and shouldn't be undertaken lightly

Answers to common questions about Bankruptcy

Will my home be at risk?

If you're a homeowner with equity in your property, it could be sold to help cover what you owe. Other non-essential assets that you own may also have to be sold.

Bankruptcy fees

In England and Wales, bankruptcy fees total £680 but fees vary in other parts of the UK. You pay a fee of £130 for adjudicator costs and £550 to the Official Receiver. For more information regarding Bankruptcy in Northern Ireland please go here.

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If you are interested or would like more information on Bankruptcy, talk through your options with one of our experienced money advisors

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