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i This solution is only available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Personal bankruptcy

Personal bankruptcy is a legal procedure for people whose circumstances are unlikely to change and who have no hope of paying off their debts within a reasonable time.

Bankruptcy is a form of insolvency and that's normally only suitable if you can’t pay back your debts in a reasonable time. Any assets you own, such as your house, will normally be sold to pay off your debts. This means if your assets are worth more than your debts, or if all of your regular payments are up to date and you can afford to keep paying them, bankruptcy is unlikely to be the best option for you.

When you make yourself bankrupt, almost all of your unsecured debts are written off, allowing you to make a fresh start. But personal bankruptcy rules mean you will face certain restrictions.

Bankruptcy applications are changing in 2016

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Personal bankruptcy in the UK

The cost of bankruptcy differs depending on where you live. In England and Wales bankruptcy costs £655. This is made up of a bankruptcy deposit of £525 for the official receiver and an adjudicator fee of £130.

In Northern Ireland the costs add up to £647, which is made up of a bankruptcy deposit of £525, a court fee of £115 and a solicitor’s fee of £7. You may also be exempt from paying the court fee, although this will stop in November 2016. 

Under the terms of the bankruptcy, creditors stop charging interest and cannot contact you or take legal action to recover the debt.

Personal bankruptcy advice

Personal bankruptcy is a big step to take and you should not make any move towards making yourself bankrupt before getting expert debt help.

We can provide free, confidential debt advice and identify the best debt solution for your situation. Use our online Debt Remedy tool and find out whether personal bankruptcy is an option for you.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2016