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
- Leave the country without permission if you live in Northern Ireland
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.