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Tackling your debts

Who can make me bankrupt?

Posted 08 March 2013

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If you owe one of your lenders over £750, they could try to make you bankrupt - but that doesn't mean they'll succeed.

If you're worried about the money you owe, you'll be wondering what your lenders are planning to do about it. What if they decide to try and bankrupt you?

Bankruptcy can sound terrifying, but as long as you're making the payments you're supposed to, don't worry: if you've agreed to repay the money over a number of years, your lenders can't just suddenly decide to try and get it all back in one go!

Even if you can't afford those payments, there are other ways to sort things out and repay the money you owe more slowly. You might be surprised to hear it, but your lenders will probably want to help you do that.

And we could help you find a better way out of debt. Our debt solution finder can show you more about your options, or you could call 0800 195 2714 if you want some one-to-one advice over the phone.

So who could make me bankrupt? How would they do that?

If you owe one of your unsecured lenders £750 or more, they could apply to the court to try and make you bankrupt.

But you wouldn't just be declared bankrupt as soon as they did that. The court would arrange a bankruptcy hearing, where the judge would look at their 'petition' - and you'd get the chance to tell them your side of the story.

The judge wouldn't make their mind up until they'd heard from you as well as your lender.

Remember: your lenders don't want to make you bankrupt. It's a 'last resort' for them as well, as they'd have to pay a 'petition deposit' of £700 and a court fee of £220, as well as any solicitor's costs. Plus, it would probably mean they won't get all the money back that you owe them.

Should I think about applying for my own bankruptcy?

If you can, you should always try to avoid bankruptcy - but in some cases, it really could be the best way for you to tackle a serious debt problem.

Our bankruptcy page can tell you more about what it involves.

Finally, remember we're here for you. If you'd like to talk to someone about your money worries, just call us.

by Sarah Symons

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.