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Insolvency

Insolvency costs and court fees

21 May 2020 - we have updated this page to reflect changes to the conditions for MAP bankruptcy and full bankruptcy in Scotland in line with new Scottish legislation.

There are fees for many court and insolvency processes. On this page you can find out what the fees are and when they’re charged.

If you're looking at any form of insolvency you’ll always need to pay some sort of fee in order to do this.

Depending on which part of the UK you live in the following fees apply:

Insolvency costs and court fees in England and Wales

The following fees are charged for insolvency in England and Wales

  • A debt relief order (DRO) costs £90, paid directly to the Insolvency Service. You can spread this out by paying in instalments, but there are no reductions available.
  • Bankruptcy costs £680. This is made up of a £550 bankruptcy deposit and a £130 application fee, both of which are paid online. You can spread this out by paying in instalments, but there are no reductions available.    
  • With an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) you don't pay an upfront fee but a percentage of your monthly payment goes towards covering the cost of your IVA

The following fees are charged for common County Court processes. You may need to apply for some of these if you’re dealing with debt.

  • Applying to change the payments to a CCJ - £50
  • Applying to stop a bailiff collecting a CCJ or High Court writ - £50
  • Applying to change the payments to a possession order - £50
  • A certificate of satisfaction confirming you’ve paid off a CCJ - £15
  • Applying to set aside (cancel) a CCJ - £255

You can find out details of other court fees in the court guide EX50 Civil and family court fees (PDF).

If you’re on a low income, or your income is from benefits only, you may qualify to have your court fees reduced or cancelled.

You can apply for help with court fees online. You don’t need to provide proof of income when you apply, but the court may write back to you asking for evidence.

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Insolvency costs and court fees in Northern Ireland

The following fees are charged for insolvency in Northern Ireland:

  • A debt relief order (DRO) costs £90, paid directly to the Insolvency Service. There are no reductions available
  • Bankruptcy costs £647. This is made up of a £525 bankruptcy deposit, a £127 court fee and a £7 solicitor’s fee. You may be able to get the court fee waived if you’re on a low income by competing form ER1 (PDF), but everyone has to pay the other costs 
  • With an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) you don't pay an upfront fee but a percentage of your monthly payment goes towards covering the cost of your IVA

You can find details of fees charged for court processes in Northern Ireland on the Courts and Tribunals Service website.

If you’re on a low income, or your income is from benefits only, you may qualify to have your court fees reduced or cancelled.

You apply for this using form ER1 Application for exemption or remission of a fee (PDF).

Before you apply read the guidance notes Do I have to pay fees? to find out if you qualify, and how to complete the ER1 form.

You may need to provide proof of income to qualify for help with your court fees. Check the guidance notes or ask the court for more details.

Insolvency costs and court fees in Scotland

The following fees are charged for insolvency in Scotland:

  • Bankruptcy (also known as sequestration) costs £150, at least until the end of September 2020. This may be reduced to £0 if you receive certain benefits, even if those benefits are not your sole income.
  • The fee for minimal asset process (MAP) bankruptcy is £50, at least until the end of September 2020. This may be reduced to £0 if you receive certain benefits, even if those benefits are not your sole income.
  • With a protected trust deed you don't pay an upfront fee but a percentage of your monthly payment goes towards covering the cost of your trust deed

You can find details of fees charged for court processes in Scotland at the Scottish Courts and Tribunals website.

If you’re on a low income, or your income is from benefits only, you may qualify to have your court fees reduced or cancelled by completing a fee exemption form. You may need to provide proof of income to qualify for help.


Frequently asked questions

What is a court filing fee?

A court filing fee is the amount of money that’s paid to the court to begin some court cases, including insolvency. The court clerk can advise you about any fees you need to pay.

What happens if you can’t pay court fees?

There are some organisations that help people pay bankruptcy fees through ‘trust funds’ which you can apply for.

If you’re on a low income you can apply to have court fees reduced or cancelled. In England and Wales you can apply online. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can apply by completing a court form.

Are court fees refundable?

Court fees for insolvency and debt solutions are not refundable. It’s important you’re sure that you’re ready to go ahead with your debt solution when you pay your fee. We recommend completing your application first as this will highlight any sections you’re not sure about.


Get insolvency advice

For expert insolvency help use our free online debt advice tool. It'll help you build a personalised budget to see whether insolvency is the best solution for you, in around 20 minutes.

If it's not, it'll recommend an alternate solution suited to your financial situation.

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