Can I go Bankrupt if I live outside the UK?
If you live outside the UK you will not normally qualify to go Bankrupt here. However if you used to live in the UK or come to live here it can be an option.
- Bankruptcy if you have never lived in the UK
- What if you have moved to another EU country?
- Going Bankrupt if you now live outside the EU
- Options if you no longer qualify to go Bankrupt in the UK
Do you want help to go bankrupt? Give us a call (0800 044 3194) or complete the form below to speak to one of our experts
Can you go Bankrupt in the UK if you have never lived here?
If you have never lived in the UK you do not qualify to go bankrupt here. You will only qualify if you move your COMI (Centre of Main Interests) to the UK and live here for at least 6 months.
You might consider doing this because the UK insolvency rules are considered to be amongst the most lenient. In addition in many circumstances all of your non UK debts will be written off.
If you live in the European Union (EU) and go bankrupt in any member state debts which you have incurred in other states are also bound into the process.
There is cross court co-operation between certain non EU countries. Under UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) rules bankruptcy in the UK often includes debt in countries outside of the EU.
Going Bankrupt if you have moved to another EU county
You may have been living in the UK in the past and built up debts here. However if you have now moved to another EU country (excluding Denmark) you no longer qualify to go bankrupt here.
Before April 16 it was still possible to go bankrupt in England & Wales for up to 3 months after moving to another EU country. However this option is no longer available because of changes to the Insolvency Act after ERRA 2013 s.71.
For this reason if you are planning to move to another EU country but have debts in the UK you might struggle to pay you must consider going bankrupt before you leave.
Going Bankrupt if you have moved outside the EU
There are different rules if you used to live in the England & Wales but have now moved to a county outside the EU. In these circumstances you can still go bankrupt for up to 3 years.
This is particularly useful if you have debts in the UK which you are not able to continue paying. Perhaps you are not earning as much money as you expected. Alternatively you may have lost a job and need to take a lower paid one.
You can only go Bankrupt in Scotland if you currently reside in the country. As such if you used to live in Scotland but now live anywhere outside the UK bankruptcy is not an option unless you move back.
Since April 16 it has been much easier to declare yourself bankrupt if you live outside the UK. You no longer have to present your application to the Court in London. Instead you can submit it on-line.
Options if you no longer qualify to go Bankrupt in the UK
You may have moved to another EU country or have already lived outside the EU for more than 3 years. If so you have lost the right to go Bankrupt here.
The only way you can now qualify to go Bankrupt in the UK is if you return. You would have to move back and live here permanently for at least 6 months.
It is not sufficient to just have an address in the UK. Your COMI (Centre of Main Interests) must be here. In other words your permanent place of residence or business.
Once you are bankrupt there is nothing to stop you from moving out of the UK again almost immediately. However you must remain in contact with the Official Receiver.
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