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Bankruptcy. Is it right for you?

Bankruptcy can help rid you of debt that would otherwise take years to clear. But it has serious implications for your future and should never be undertaken lightly.

Bankruptcy advice at a glance

Benefits of bankruptcy Things to consider
It can be one of the quickest ways to give yourself a fresh start. If you have any assets, like a house or car, these may be included in your bankruptcy.
All your unsecured debts are written off. It may have implications for your job – for instance you will not be able to act as a company director.
You will receive no further contact from your creditors. You may find it difficult to take out credit, as bankruptcy will remain on your credit file for six years.

More about bankruptcy

 
Is bankruptcy suitable for me?

Bankruptcy (like an IVA) is a form of insolvency, so your unsecured debts need to be greater than your assets, such as property or vehicles, for it to be considered. Unsecured debts include things like credit card debt, personal loans and store cards.

Bankruptcy works differently if you live in Scotland. Read our page on bankruptcy in Scotland for more information.

How does bankruptcy work?

If you make yourself bankrupt your creditors write off your unsecured debts. This allows you to make a fresh start. In the UK, personal bankruptcy normally lasts for a year. You can’t borrow any further money during this period and have to declare any changes in your circumstances to the Official Receiver. You may be asked to sell valuable assets but you’re able to keep the things you need for day-to-day living.

How much are bankruptcy fees?

Bankruptcy fees vary throughout the UK. In England and Wales bankruptcy fees total £705. You pay a £180 fee to the court and £525 to the Official Receiver. If you have a low income or receive benefits you may be exempt from the court fee, allowing you to go bankrupt for £525. For more details of varying UK charges see bankruptcy fees.

What next? Applying for bankruptcy.

  1. The first step is to see if bankruptcy is the right debt solution for you. You can do this online by using our Debt Remedy tool or by speaking to one of our advisors.
  2. If we think that bankruptcy might be right for you then we’ll put you in touch with our specialist bankruptcy team who will support you every step of the way.
  3. Bankruptcy is not the best option for everyone – we may well be able to help you with more appropriate and less severe ways to solve your particular debt problem.

StepChange bankruptcy advice

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Why choose us?

Bankruptcy is a big step, we'll make sure it's the right solution for you.

  • Tailored advice We tailor our advice to your situation, and you can be confident that if we recommend it, bankruptcy really is your best option.
  • Specialist bankruptcy advisorsOur specialist bankruptcy advisors are available to help you through the process step by step.
 

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Bankruptcy guide

Read our guide for immediate information on bankruptcy.

Download our bankruptcy guide

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