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i This solution is only available in Scotland.

Minimal asset process (MAP) bankruptcy

A minimal asset process (MAP) bankruptcy gives you a fresh start by writing off debts that you can’t repay within a reasonable time. It's aimed at people with a low income and not many assets, and is cheaper and more straightforward than sequestration bankruptcy.

This solution is only available to people living in Scotland. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you may be able to apply for a debt relief order, which is a similar solution, but it's important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

MAP bankruptcy at a glance

Benefits Risks
You’ll normally be discharged from your MAP bankruptcy after six months, and most debts will be legally written off at this point. Your credit rating will be affected for six years, starting from the date your MAP bankruptcy is awarded.
Once your MAP is approved your creditors won’t chase you for payment or add more interest and charges to your debts, and they can’t take any court action. Your bank is likely to close or freeze your bank accounts. It’s likely you’ll only be able to get a basic bank account.
It costs £90 to apply for. This is payable to the Accountant in Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can lead to disciplinary action or dismissal in some jobs.
Although MAP bankruptcy is a formal legal process, you won’t need to appear in court. Some private landlords may evict tenants if they become bankrupt. Check your tenancy agreement.


Applying for MAP bankruptcy? Things to consider

Applying for MAP bankruptcy is a big decision. Before you apply you should consider these points:

  • Most debts are included, but if you have any court fines, student loans or child maintenance arrears you’ll still need to make payments to these
  • You can only apply for MAP from an approved money advice organisation such as us
  • During the MAP bankruptcy you’ll not be able to access any further credit, so you’ll need to stick to your budget once it’s in place
  • If you’re self-employed, bankruptcy may make it harder to trade and obtain credit for goods or services
  • You’ll need to check if it’ll affect your job
  • Bankruptcy can lead to disciplinary action or dismissal in some jobs, such as those in financial services or the legal profession
  • You’ll need to provide proof of your income and expenditure such as payslips and bank statements

Who can apply for MAP bankruptcy?

To apply you must meet the following conditions:

  • You live in Scotland
  • You’re on a low income. This can be defined in two ways: Your income is made up solely of income-related benefits such as jobseekers allowance (JSA), or the amount of money you earn covers your essential living costs but you have nothing left over
  • Your debts are more than £1,500 and less than £17,000
  • Your car is worth £3,000 or less
  • Your other assets are worth less than £2,000 in total, with no single item worth more than £1,000
  • You’re not a homeowner 
  • You haven’t been bankrupt in the last five years

How MAP bankruptcy works

To apply for MAP you need to pay a fee of £90. The full amount needs to be paid and there are no exemptions or reductions available.

You’ll also need to get advice from an approved money advice organisation such as us. You can’t apply without doing this.

We can help you work out if MAP is the best option for you. If it is, we’ll ask you to send us details of your income and debts. We’ll check all your paperwork and provide all the support you need.

You should also be aware that with MAP bankruptcy your details will be added to a public register, called the Register of Insolvencies (ROI), for a period of five years.

Can my creditors contact me?

Your creditors can’t contact you or take any legal action to collect the debt once your MAP bankruptcy has been approved.

How long does MAP last?

It will normally last for six months. At this point, your debts are written off, but you can’t apply for any further credit for six months.

What debts can be included in MAP?

Most debts are included, but if you have any court fines, student loans or child maintenance arrears, you’ll need to keep paying these as normal. 

How will my credit file be affected? 

MAP bankruptcy will appear on your credit file for six years, and you’ll find it much harder to get further credit during this time. Your details will also appear on a public register of insolvencies.

Could it affect my job, home or bank account?

It may affect you in other ways depending on your individual circumstances, for example:

  • Your bank is likely to close your account, and you may find it difficult to open a replacement
  • Bankruptcy can lead to disciplinary action or dismissal in some jobs
  • If you live in private rented housing or you have rent arrears, your landlord may evict you
  • If you’re self-employed, bankruptcy may make it harder to trade, especially if you rely on credit to pay for stock or services

Free debt advice in Scotland

MAP bankruptcy is a big step and you need expert debt advice to decide if it’s the right option for you. We can provide advice on the full range of Scottish debt solutions.

Call our Helpline and speak to one of our Scottish debt advisors to find out more about this debt solution, or read our Debt Information page on MAP bankruptcy.

Qualify for MAP bankruptcy?

Complete our FREE Debt Remedy tool to see if a MAP is right for you

  • Completely anonymous
  • Free and easy to use

Try Debt Remedy

Why choose us?

We are the UK's leading debt advice and debt management charity.

  • We'll set up your MAP for FREE Unlike other companies we'll set up and manage your MAP completely free of charge.
  • Expert advisors We have approved money advisors who are experts in Scottish debt law. They'll be on hand to help you every step of the way.

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.

We link to external websites where they contain relevant information for our visitors. We're not responsible for the content of these websites, or any infringement on your data rights under data protection regulations by any external website provider.

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

© StepChange Debt Charity 2018