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The information given on this page relates to the Official Receiver in England, Wales & Northern Ireland. The process in Scotland is different.
What does the Official Receiver do?
The person who manages your Bankruptcy is called the Official Receiver (OR). It is their job to review your circumstances. They will decide what will happen to to any valuable assets you own such as your property or car.
In order to carry out their investigation the OR will want to undertake an interview with you. They will contact you shortly after you go bankrupt to arrange this.
Your interview with the OR will normally take place on the telephone. It can be done via e-mail if you no longer live in the UK.
What to expect at your Interview with the Official Receiver
Depending on the complexity of your circumstances the Official Receiver interview is likely to take about an hour. They will want to go through the information you included in your application form.
The first area they will want to discuss is usually the reasons you have got into debt and what the money you borrowed was spent on. They will also want to review your assets, income and living expenses budget.
If you are self employed it is possible the OR will ask you to attend a face to face meeting in a local regional office. They are likely to want to understand what your business income and expenditures are likely to be in the next 3-6 months.
It is useful to have a copy of your application form to hand when you speak to the OR so you can refer to it if necessary.
The Paperwork the Official Receiver will ask for
There is now set list of paperwork that you can expect to be asked to submit to the Official Receiver. If your case is relatively simple they may not ask you to provide anything at all.
If you no longer have any of the documents you are asked for do not worry. Just explain this to the OR. They will be able to get copies of any key documents they need direct from your bank or creditors if necessary.
The OR can ask you for any paperwork they feel necessary to confirmation of the information you have provided in your appliction. You are obliged to co-operate with them.
Buying back the Interest in your Property from the Official Receiver
If you are a home owner you are likely to want to buy back the beneficial interest in your property. It will be your responsibility to bring this up with the Official Receiver.
If you do not raise the issue it is possible the OR will not even discuss the implications for your property with your. Unless you initiate the conversation they will not normally consider the equity or enforce its release until around 6 months before the date of your discharge.
If your property is in negative equity and you want to buy back your beneficial interest you must expect to pay the official receiver £1000 plus the solicitor’s fees. If it is in positive equity you will have to pay the value of your share of the equity plus solicitor’s fees.