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Is your bankruptcy published in the local newspaper?
Your details are not published in any newspaper if you go bankrupt. This practise was stopped after the rules were changed in 2009.
Using a local newspaper to inform potential lenders that you are a credit risk is now seen as a waste of the official receiver’s time and resources.
This means you don’t need to worry about your friends, members of your family or anyone else randomly finding out about your situation. It won’t happen. The only time they will get to know is if you decide to tell them yourself.
The rules are different if you live in Northern Ireland. If you go bankrupt in Belfast, your name and details are published in the Friday edition of the Belfast Telegraph.
Are there any public records of your bankruptcy?
Although your details are not advertised in the newspaper, the fact that you are bankrupt is still recorded on a list known as the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR). Your name and last known address and profession are shown on this register for 12 months (from the date you went bankrupt to the date you are discharged).
The IIR is publicly accessible via the internet. This means anyone can view it. However, you can’t just scroll through a list of bankrupt people. You have to specifically search on an individual’s name. This means it’s very unlikely that someone will come across your details by mistake. Particularly as most people are not even aware that the IIR exists.
A record of your bankruptcy is also placed in a publication called The Gazette. This is a public record containing all sorts of information including the Queen’s birthday. It is a permanent archive, so the record is not deleted when you are discharged.
The Gazette is also available to review on the internet. But again, it is very unlikely anyone would find your details there.
If the publication of your address could place you at the risk of harm, you can apply the the court for it to be withheld from the registers (PARV order). However this would only granted in certain specific circumstances.
Who is actually told you are bankrupt?
The reality is that virtually no-one is told that you have gone bankrupt.
Other than your creditors, it is really just your bank who is specifically told. They will be notified within a couple of days and you might have the change you bank account even if you don’t owe them any money.
Your employer is certainly not informed. You will be able to continue with your job as normal.
If you are renting your home, your landlord will not be told. As long as you continue to pay your rent on time, your home will not be affected. The only time this is not the case is if you have rent arrears and list them on your bankruptcy application form. The official receiver will then write to your landlord confirming the arrears are to be included as one of your debts.
Want further advice about whether bankruptcy is right for you? Give us a call (0800 044 3194) or complete the form below.
I have been advising people on how to solve their debt problems for over 20 years. During this time I have helped many people go bankrupt. I am an FCA Approved Person and the Managing Director of Wilmott Turner Financial Services (owner and operator of Bankruptcy Expert