If you are struggling to pay your debts then Bankruptcy may be the most effective option to start afresh.
A Bankruptcy Petition will normally be presented by:
– Any creditor (provided they are owed over £750)
– The debtor (ie the person in debt)
– The Supervisor of a failed Individual Voluntary Arrangement (‘IVA’)
If considering Bankruptcy then (ironically) there is actually quite a significant cost involved. A deposit of £525 must be paid towards the costs of the Official Receiver plus a Court fee of £175 is payable, so a total of £700.
Once the Bankruptcy Order has been made by the Court, the Official Receiver (a government official) will initially be appointed to deal with your affairs. A Trustee in Bankruptcy (a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner) is often appointed shortly afterwards, usually in more complex cases.
It should be noted that Bankruptcy does not mean an individual would not have to pay something back to their creditors:
– Assets will be realised and sold (except those required to satisfy your ‘reasonable domestic needs’) including any property interests, for example the matrimonial home
– Monthly contributions may be required, from any surplus income, for up to 3 years from the date of the Bankruptcy Order
In the vast majority of cases, a Bankruptcy will usually last no more than 12 months, after which the individual will be automatically discharged.
Once the bankrupt has received their discharge, their debts (subject to certain restrictions) will be cleared. The bankrupt will have a poor credit rating for a considerable period afterwards.
Before going down the Bankruptcy route an individual would be well advised to seek independent professional advice on other available options.