No more forms
Personal bankruptcy will switch to an online application for Northern Ireland residents from November. The switch has been in place for England and Wales residents since April. You can apply for bankruptcy online via the GOV.UK website. You’ll no longer have to complete the lengthy forms in triplicate or attend a court hearing centre.
You’ll be able to create your case online with a username and password as with other secure sites. You’ll also be able to login and logout as many times as you need to complete the application process.
You need to supply the same type of information as the previous forms required, but you can complete each section as and when you have the information. Each section has been simplified, making them much easier to understand, and each page has guidance on what information is needed to help you complete it.
No court attendance
From April, England and Wales bankruptcy applications are no longer dealt with in court. The online application, once submitted, is received and assessed by an adjudicator. You will not have to attend a court and you’re notified of the decision made by the adjudicator.
Changes to the fees
You still have to pay a deposit to the official receiver. Since 6 April the County Court fee is paid to the adjudicator instead. Bankruptcy fees vary throughout the UK; in England and Wales it costs £680 which consists of:
- £130 fee to the adjudicator
- £550 to the official receiver
Up until November, bankruptcy for Northern Ireland residents will cost:
- £115 court fee
- £525 bankruptcy deposit
- £7 solicitor’s fee
The fees for Northern Ireland are due to change in November.
Until the new online application is introduced, Northern Ireland residents can have the court fee waived if they’re receiving certain benefits. This won’t be possible after November as the fee for the adjudicator cannot be waived.
The good news is that after November you can pay the fees by instalments as and when you can afford. When you’ve paid the fees in full, you’ll be able to submit the application online.
Where can I find more information?
If you're based in Northern Ireland and want more information on the upcoming bankruptcy changes, visit www.detini.gov.uk.
Is anything else in bankruptcy changing?
No, only the way you apply (petition) for bankruptcy is changing. How bankruptcy affects you, your home, your pension and your job remains the same. What happens to you after you’re bankrupt remains the same and the same terms and conditions (restrictions) apply to you as they do now.