How to declare yourself bankrupt

Bankruptcy / Guide

Firstly, you need to make sure that bankruptcy is the most suitable option for you. This can be done by looking at the benefits and consequences, considering the alternative options, and seeking expert advice.

If you have sought expert advice, and have decided that bankruptcy is the most suitable way forward, you will need to take the following steps to declare yourself bankrupt.

Apply online

To apply for bankruptcy, 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.

We can help you with your online application and provide advice and support during the period leading up to your bankruptcy application.

Pay the fees

The fee in England and Wales is £680, which is split into two payments - £550 goes to the Official Receiver for managing your Bankruptcy, and £130 goes towards adjudicator costs.

The £680 can be paid in instalments to the Insolvency Service via until the £680 fee has been reached. Once the fee has been paid in full, you will then be able to submit an application online.

If your bankruptcy petition is accepted

If your application is accepted, a bankruptcy order will be made. You'll hand over rights to all of your assets, like your home, and any other non-excluded assets (certain items needed for day-to-day living, or of a low value, are usually exempt) to a Trustee, who may sell them in order to repay your lenders.

Your unsecured debts will be frozen (usually for a year) before you are discharged. Any unsecured debt that you can't afford to repay will be written off, but, as mentioned earlier in the guide, if you can afford it, you may be expected to make payments for up to three years.

If you're turned down for bankruptcy, it's best to seek expert advice.

Next: How much does Bankruptcy cost?

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