We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).
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Worried about bankruptcy?

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

After bankruptcy

What happens after bankruptcy

Bankruptcy normally lasts for a period of 12 months, after which time you are discharged.

While you’re bankrupt, some restrictions will be put in place. You can’t do any of the following until you’re discharged:

  • Borrow more than £500 from a lender without telling them you’re bankrupt
  • Be a company director
  • Buy a council house using the ‘right to buy’ scheme 
  • Change the name of your business if you’re self-employed

If your bankruptcy was caused by dishonest or reckless behaviour, an official receiver, or the Accountant in Bankruptcy in Scotland, can extend these restrictions with a bankruptcy restriction undertaking (BRU) or order (BRO). This lasts for two to 15 years.

Bankruptcy works differently depending on where you live in the UK. If you’re living in Scotland please visit our section on sequestration (Scottish bankruptcy). If you live in Northern Ireland, England or Wales the information below outlines the bankruptcy process.  

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Things to consider after bankruptcy

Bank accounts after bankruptcy. Your bank account will usually be closed after your bankruptcy and you’ll need to open a new account with a different bank. For more information and advice on opening a new account after bankruptcy, read our detailed guide to bank accounts after bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy discharge. Find out more about what happens after a bankruptcy discharge and how your finances may continue to be affected.

Bankruptcy register. Bankruptcy is public information. Find out how long details of your bankruptcy will be recorded on a database called the Individual Insolvency Register and who can access the information. 

Credit and loans after bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will affect your credit rating and will make it difficult for you to get a loan or any other types of credit.

Free bankruptcy advice

Going bankrupt is a big step to take and requires expert debt advice. If you’re considering bankruptcy, use our online debt advice tool, which will provide you with the best solution to your debt problem in around 20 minutes.

Or, if you’d prefer to speak to us, call our debt helpline.

We're rated

4.8 out of 5
Read reviews of StepChange » Av. ratings for our service by DMP/DRO clients after 3 months.

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 based on the StepChange reviews on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2017