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Can I go Bankrupt if I have Gambling Debt

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If you have gambling debt you may think that Bankruptcy is not an option for you. Alternatively you may have read that if you do use this solution the time it lasts will be significantly extended. This is not correct.

Whether you have been suffering with a gambling addiction or simply started to try and repay existing debt there is nothing to stop you going Bankrupt. What is more it is almost certain that the process will last for just the standard 12 months.

Gambling Debt can be included in Bankruptcy

Although it is not sensible, gambling is not a crime. As long as any debts you have built up in this way are unsecured they can be included in Bankruptcy.

If you have lost money through gambling in the last two years you will need to declare this on the last page of your application form. However this will not mean that the Court reviews your application any less favourably. Having gambling debt will not stop the Judge making you Bankrupt.

Will Gambling Debt mean your Bankruptcy is extended?

Many people are under the impression that gambling debt will result in length of their bankruptcy being extended. However this is not normally the case. If some of the debt you owe is due to gambling it is unlikely that your bankruptcy will last longer than 12 months.

The main reason why Bankruptcy might be extended is if you do not cooperate with the Official Receiver. This would be if you were obstructive when asked to provide information about your finances or you tried to hide assets. However in general that fact that you have gambled in the past is not seen as a reason to extend the bankruptcy period.

**Update** The only time your bankruptcy period could be extended is if your gambling debt is large and makes up the majority of the debt you owe. In this situation the Official Receiver might ask you to accept an extension of 2-3 years. However even if this happens it will have very little affect on day to day life for most people.

Get help for a Gambling addiction

If you have had a gambling addiction which has contributed to your debt it would be wise to seek help from an organisation such as GamCare or Gamblers Anonymous before going bankrupt. You can then inform the Official Receiver about the help you are receiving. This will give them peace of mind that you will not get into further gambling debt after you are bankrupt.

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