Here’s what you can expect after bankruptcy.
You are discharged from your bankruptcy.
Most of your debts are written off but you still need to pay some like:
Some other restrictions end at this point too.
For example you can be a company director again, or you can borrow more than £500 without having to tell the lender about your bankruptcy.
A court can delay your discharge if you do not cooperate with the official receiver.
15 months after bankruptcy
This is when details of your bankruptcy are usually removed from the public Individual Insolvency Register unless you have bankruptcy restriction undertaking.
A bankruptcy restriction undertaking (BRU) or order (BRO) is applied if the official receiver finds you were dishonest or irresponsible. This means your bankruptcy stays longer on the public register.
Two years and three months
Your official receiver decides what to do with any equity in your home. They have two years and three months from the date your application was approved to do this.
Depending on how much equity you have, they might:
- Sell the property
- Apply a charging order to get the equity if you sell or remortgage in the future
- Give you the equity back if it is only small
They then have another nine months to take the action they have agreed.
Your official receiver has three years from the date your application is approved to deal with any equity in your home.
If you do not declare your property to the official receiver upfront, this three year period runs from the date they find out about it, not the date of your bankruptcy.
Three to four years
The official receiver may set an income payment arrangement (IPA) if you have money left over each month after living costs.
If you have an IPA:
- You make payments for a three-year period which starts in the 12 months before you are discharged.
- The last payment is somewhere between three and four years after your bankruptcy. You can still be chased for missed payments after this.
Six years after bankruptcy
Details of your bankruptcy will be removed from your credit file.
Your creditors should have listed your debts on or before the date of your bankruptcy.
This means all the debts from before your bankruptcy disappear from your credit file too.
Check your records with all three credit reference agencies to make sure this happened. You can now start rebuilding your credit file.
If the official receiver applied a BRU or BRO for more than six years, your bankruptcy will still appear on your credit file until this ends.
Some BRUs or BROs last for up to 15 years. This could start any time before discharge, so could end up to 16 years from the date of your bankruptcy.
This type of action is rare, and would only normally happen with high-value fraud or other criminal activity.
Details of your bankruptcy were recorded in The Gazette at the start. They stay in The Gazette records forever and can be searched by looking through back editions, or by searching online.
If you live in Northern Ireland, bankruptcy listings are also published in the Belfast Telegraph every Friday.
Do not worry though – it is very unlikely anyone will find details of your bankruptcy this way by accident and lenders don’t use this information when they credit-check you.