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After bankruptcy

Bankruptcy register

Bankruptcy is public information. If you go bankrupt, the details of your bankruptcy will be recorded on a database called the Individual Insolvency Register.

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

How do you find out if someone has declared bankruptcy?

Anyone who has a right to know about a bankruptcy will be contacted directly by the official receiver.

England and Wales: Details of any bankruptcy can be found by searching the Individual Insolvency Register online for free.

Northern Ireland: The register is also free to view in Northern Ireland, but you have to contact the High Court in Belfast to search for details.

The insolvency register lists:

  • The name, address and occupation of the person who has been declared bankrupt
  • The date of the bankruptcy order
  • The official receiver’s details

How long do you stay on the bankruptcy register?

Your details will normally remain on the register until three months after you’ve been discharged from bankruptcy.

Your bankruptcy will also appear on your credit file for six years. This will affect your credit score and make it much harder for you to get credit.

Are bankruptcies on the public record?

Yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean details of your bankruptcy are easy to find.

England and Wales: While the Insolvency Register is publicly available, it’s unlikely that the Insolvency Service will publish details of your bankruptcy in your local newspaper. Many people believe this happens routinely, but usually it’s only the case if you’re hiding assets or not cooperating with the official receiver.

Northern Ireland: All bankruptcies are published in the Belfast Telegraph as well as being listed in the Insolvency Register

You can apply to the court to withhold your address from the register if having your address published puts you at risk of violence.

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Bankruptcy and The Gazette

Details of all bankruptcies in the UK are also published in The Gazette. This is an official ‘newspaper of record’ that lists official notices. This information is available for free on The Gazette website.

All bankruptcies in the UK are also advertised in the paper version of The Gazette. Three versions of this are printed weekly, in London, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The paper shows the same information available online and looks like this.

The Gazette shows the same details as the Insolvency Register, and you can request that your address is hidden if this would put your personal safety at risk.

If bankruptcy is the most suitable debt solution for you don’t let The Gazette listing put you off.

You cannot prevent your details appearing in The Gazette and it will remain in their records permanently. Lenders use information on the credit reference agencies, rather than The Gazette, to decide if they will lend to you.

Bankruptcy order notices are available to be indexed by search engines for one year and three months after publication. After this point they are automatically blocked from appearing in search engine results and would only be available to view on The Gazette website. The Gazette privacy policy explains this fully.

Before going ahead with bankruptcy, you should get free and impartial debt advice. Use our online debt advice tool or contact us.