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The Steps to go Bankrupt

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The Steps to go Bankrupt You will need to carry out a number of steps to go bankrupt. These include completing your on-line application form and an interview with the Official Receiver.

  • Decide if you should go Bankrupt
  • Complete the Bankruptcy application
  • Submit your application
  • Interview with the Official receiver

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The information given on this page relates to going bankrupt in England or Wales. The steps you need to take in Northern Ireland and Scotland are different.

Step 1. Decide if you should go Bankrupt

The decision to go bankrupt is not one you should take lightly. You need to understand the implications of this solution based on your personal circumstances.

In particular you need to understand the likely impact on any valuable possessions such as your house and car. You will also want to know whether you will be required to make ongoing payments towards your debts.

Speak to one of our experienced advisers who will help you analyse your financial situation and decide if Bankruptcy is right for you.

Step 2. Complete your Bankruptcy Application

Your Bankruptcy application form needs to be completed using the Government’s on-line system. First of all you have to create an account. You will then be asked to provide lots of information about your financial circumstances

It is vital that the information you submit is correct. It will be used by an Adjudicator to decide whether or not you should be made bankrupt. Then it will be used by the Official Receiver to make decisions about what you will have to pay towards your debt and what will happen to your assets.

To find out about the information you will be asked to provide you can download a paper version of the application form. Do this by clicking on the “Download Bankruptcy Forms” button at the top right of this page (or at the bottom of the page if you are using a mobile device).

The Adjudicator is unable to give advice on completing your on-line application. If you feel that you require help please contact us about our Bankruptcy Assistance Service.

Step 3. Submit your Application

Once you are happy that all the information you have provided is correct you are then ready to submit your application. However before you can do this you will need to pay your Bankruptcy Application fee.

The easiest way of doing this is by credit or debit card via the on-line system. You can pay by instalments of as little as £5 if you like. However you will not be allowed to submit your application until your fee is paid in full.

Once you have submitted your application it will be reviewed by the Adjudicator. They will contact you if they have any questions about your application.

Given the information you have given is correct the Adjudicator will normally confirm that you are bankrupt via e-mail within 2 days of your submission.

Step 4. Interview with the Official Receiver

After you have been made Bankrupt you will have an interview with the Official Receiver. Someone from their office will contact you within a few days to discuss this.

When you first speak to the Official Receiver they usually just want to introduce themselves and confirm a mutually convenient for the interview. The interview itself will normally take place over the telephone and last around 1 hour.

During the interview you will be asked questions about your financial situation. Following this a decision will be made about how to deal with any assets you own and whether you will have to pay anything towards your debts.

If you are self employed the Official Receiver will normally want to interview you face to face. They will request that you travel to one of their regional offices to do this.

Step 5. Discharge from Bankruptcy

You will normally be Bankrupt for 12 months. You will then be automatically discharged and your name will be taken off the Insolvency register.

It is not possible to be discharged early. However the discharge date could be delayed if you do not co-operate with the Official Receiver or are dishonest about your assets

If you are asked to make ongoing payments towards your debts this is called an Income Payment Agreement (IPA). An IPA lasts for 3 years from the date it starts. This means that you will continue to make the payments as agreed after you are discharged.

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