There are three ways you can be made bankrupt, with different costs incurred for each:
You can make yourself bankrupt – you’ll need to complete an online application called a petition. This is then submitted to an adjudicator at the Insolvency Service and, once received, they will consider your application. If it's accepted, a bankruptcy order will be made. In England and Wales the cost of doing this is £680. This is split into two payments - £550 goes to the Official Receiver and £130 is the adjudicator fee. The £680 can be paid in instalments to the Insolvency Service via gov.uk until the £680 fee has been reached. For more information regarding Bankruptcy in Northern Ireland please go here. Once the fee has been paid in full, you will then be able to submit the full application online.
If you’re not able to pay the fee, there are some charities that may be able to help you with the Official Receiver’s fee – the Money Advice Service should be able to give you more information.
You can be made bankrupt by your lenders (creditors), which is called a creditor's petition and would involve them being able to prove that they were owed at least £5,000 by you. They would have to pay any fees associated with the petition to make you bankrupt and they may be entitled to add at least some of those costs to what you owe.
You can be made bankrupt by your Insolvency Practitioner – if you were to enter into an IVA, for example, and then break the terms of it, your Insolvency Practitioner can apply to make you bankrupt. In this instance, the cost of the petition would likely be paid for out of the money you have paid into your IVA.