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

What is bankruptcy

Joint bankruptcy

Joint bankruptcy is only available to business partners. If you’re a couple, and both want to go bankrupt, you must petition for bankruptcy individually.

Unless you and your spouse or partner are also business partners, you cannot apply for joint bankruptcy. This means that you must submit two sets of forms and pay two lots of bankruptcy fees.

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Can joint debts be included in bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy will have an effect on your finances as a couple if you have any joint debts. A joint debt is one that both of you applied for at the same time and in which you are both named on the credit agreement.

If you have a joint debt and only one of you goes bankrupt, the other person named on your credit agreement will become responsible for the whole amount of the debt. This person will then have to make arrangements to pay the total amount back by themselves.

This situation wouldn’t happen if you both went bankrupt. However, if bankruptcy was confirmed as the most suitable solution to deal with your debt, you’d each need to apply individually for your bankruptcy and both of you must pay separate bankruptcy fees.

Applying for bankruptcy is quite expensive, so it’s important to make sure it’s the right solution for you before applying.

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Bankruptcy is a form of insolvency and is normally only suitable if you can’t pay back your debts in a reasonable time. Assets you own, such as your house or car will usually be sold to pay off your debts.

This means if your assets are worth more than your debts or if all of your regular payments are up to date and you can afford to keep paying them, bankruptcy is unlikely to be the best option for you.

You must seek professional advice if one or both of you are considering going bankrupt. Our online debt advice tool will assess your situation and see if bankruptcy is the best solution to your debt problem.

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“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.

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