Applying for your own bankruptcy can be a daunting task especially if you have no knowledge of where to go, what to do or how to start. Fortunately there is plenty of information on the internet on bankruptcy and what it entails, though sifting through all that information can be time consuming and not very interesting. We have put together a step-by-step guide on what to do and how to get started with your bankruptcy.
1. Seek Bankruptcy Advice
If you haven’t done already, please seek some professional bankruptcy advice. You may find you are not eligible for bankruptcy or another debt solution would be more ideally suited to your circumstances. Don’t be fooled by the headlines of having your debts written off, there is more to bankruptcy than meets the eye.
To find bankruptcy advice you can speak to a financial advisor, a bankruptcy company such as Bankruptcy Clinic or you can speak to a free debt service such as Stepchange.
2. Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
Having been assured bankruptcy is your best or only solution to your debt problems, you will need to start completing your bankruptcy forms. You can obtain the necessary bankruptcy forms from your local court that deals with bankruptcy or you can print them off from the Insolvency Services website at https://www.gov.uk/bankruptcy/overview
The first form to complete is the Debtors Bankruptcy Petition 6.27 form. This is your request to the court to be made bankruptcy and gives you space to explain your reason for applying for bankruptcy.
The second form is the Statement of Affairs 6.28 form, which needs to be completed with complete honesty as it contains a Statement of Truth that you will need to sign. This form requires you to list all your creditors, their address and how much you owe each one of them. You will also be required to list all your assets that can be used to pay towards your debts.
If you are taking these forms to your local county court then you will need 2 copies of both the 6.27 form and the 6.28 form before they can accept your petition for bankruptcy. You will also need to have your fees ready to hand over.
3. Have The Bankruptcy Fees Ready
Your bankruptcy fee will vary slightly depending on where you live though you can expect to pay roughly £525 to the official receiver and a further £175 for the court fee. You will need to have this money ready when you submit your paperwork to the court. You can make the payment in cash or by cheque which should be made payable to ‘HMCS’.
How to petition bankruptcy
4. Find Your Local Court
Now that you are certain that bankruptcy is your best option, the paperwork is completed and you have the money ready to go bankrupt, you will need to know which court to go to that can deal with your bankruptcy. Not all courts can deal with bankruptcy. You should take you petition for bankruptcy to your local county court using the court finder site. It is a good idea to call your local court beforehand to ensure they can petition your bankruptcy and to arrange a time for when the court can consider it.
5. What Happens At The Court
At the court hearing, provided you have provided all the correct information and the court agrees to you bankruptcy petition, the court will make a bankruptcy order. As soon as the order has been made you will become officially bankrupt. The official receiver, who is an officer of the court, will administer your bankruptcy and will be entrusted in protecting you assets from the date of the bankruptcy order. The official receiver will act as your trustee and is responsible for looking after your financial affairs before and during you bankruptcy petition. Once the bankruptcy order has been made, you will be given the name and contact number for your official receiver who you will need to contact. The official receiver will then ask you questions and may even ask you in for an interview.
6. Your Duties As A Bankruptcy
Once you have been made bankruptcy you will be expected to provide information about your financial affairs to you official receiver. You will be asked to hand over your bank statements, accounts, insurance policy documents, proof of income and any paperwork relating to any assets you possess. You will also need to stop using all your bank accounts, credit cards and other similar accounts straight away. If you require a new bank account then you can apply for a basic bank account at your local bank, which will provide you with an account with no credit facilities.
You must not make any further payments to any of your unsecured creditors. Cancel all direct debits or standing orders you have setup with your unsecured creditors. If you have any secured debts (which could not be included in your bankruptcy) then it will still be your duty to continue making payments to your secured creditors.
7. Become Discharged From Bankruptcy
Most people who go bankrupt will be automatically discharged within 12 months of going bankrupt. You will become free from bankruptcy if the court annuls your bankruptcy order though you may still have some bankruptcy restrictions imposed upon yourself such as an Income Payment Order.
If you are unsure on petitioning your own personal bankruptcy then we do provide a service where we can help you declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy Clinic do offer a pro bankruptcy service with the help of our partner MoneySolve.
To find out more then please call on 01625 462 770 or complete one of our quick enquiry forms