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Thinking about going ahead with MAP?

We're here to help. Free, online debt advice available now.

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i This solution is only available in Scotland.

MAP bankruptcy. What is it?

The minimal asset process (MAP) is a way of applying for bankruptcy which is aimed at people on a low income with very few or no assets. It’s a means of writing off debt that you'd struggle to repay within a reasonable time.

The MAP bankruptcy is not available if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. In these countries, a debt relief order (DRO) is a similar solution, but it’s important to note that it has different benefits, risks and fees associated with it.

Can I apply for MAP?

To apply for MAP bankruptcy you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must live in Scotland, or have lived in Scotland in the last 12 months
  • Your debts are less than £25,000
  • Your car is worth £3,000 or less
  • Your other assets are worth less than £2,000 in total, with no single item worth more than £1,000
  • You’re not a homeowner
  • You haven’t gone through sequestration, which is bankruptcy in Scotland, in the last five years

When it comes to your income, there are two ways you can qualify:

  • Your income is made up solely of income-related benefits such as Universal Credit
  • There’s no money left over from your total earned income once all your essential living costs are paid

Free multilingual debt guide

We've put together a free, downloadable guide to help you deal with your money worries

Our guide to dealing with debt in Scotland covers debt collection processes, where to get help, budgeting and what to expect from a debt advice session. It’s available to download in English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish. Find out more.

The MAP application process

You’ll need to get advice from an approved money advice organisation. You won’t be able to apply without doing this first.

We can help you understand if MAP bankruptcy is the best option for you. If it is, we’ll ask you to send us details of your income and debts. We’ll check all your paperwork and provide all the support you need.

You should be aware that with MAP bankruptcy, your details will be added to a public register called the Register of Insolvencies (ROI) for a period of five years.

There is a £50 fee to pay when you apply. But, you may not have to pay this due to your financial situation. Your advisor will speak to you about this when your application is ready to submit.

mum at the table with bills

Thinking about going ahead with MAP?

We're here to help. Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Minimal asset process FAQs

What debts are included in MAP bankruptcy?

Most debts are included in MAP bankruptcy. Some debts are not covered though, including court fines, student loans or debts you took out fraudulently. You’ll have to continue paying these.

What happens once my MAP bankruptcy is awarded?

If your application is awarded and you continue to meet the conditions of MAP bankruptcy, you'll normally be discharged six months after the bankruptcy was awarded.

Can my creditors contact me?

Once your MAP bankruptcy has been approved, creditors included in the bankruptcy can no longer contact you, and they won’t be able to take legal action against you to recover debts.

You can apply for a debt moratorium if you are concerned about imminent court action and wish to avoid it.

Are there any restrictions with MAP?

Once you’re discharged, after six months on MAP, it will take a further six months to finalise everything. During this period, you’ll still be under certain restrictions, For example, you cannot borrow more than £2,000, either solely or jointly, without telling the lender that you’re bankrupt.

Not complying with these restrictions can be deemed as committing an offence, which could lead to a fine, or in rare cases, imprisonment.

What else does MAP bankruptcy affect?

MAP bankruptcy may affect you in other ways, depending on your circumstances. These include:

Your bank account: your bank is likely to close your bank account or freeze your account.

Your job: it’s important to check your job contract as soon as possible for any mention of bankruptcy or insolvency affecting your employment. Your HR department can advise you on whether bankruptcy would affect your job.

Your residence: some private landlords may evict tenants if they go bankrupt, especially if they have rent arrears. This is because rent arrears are included in MAP bankruptcy.

Your self-employment: If you’re self-employed, MAP bankruptcy may make it harder to trade, especially if you use credit to pay for stock or services.

Does MAP bankruptcy affect my credit file?

As with all forms of insolvency, MAP bankruptcy will affect your credit rating. Once your MAP bankruptcy is awarded, a record of it will appear on your credit file for a period of six years. You may find it difficult to obtain further credit during this time, even after you’re discharged.

Can you give MAP bankruptcy help?

If you’d like to find out if MAP bankruptcy is the right option for you, our online debt advice tool can help.

Alternatively you can call our Helpline (free from all landlines and mobiles). If it’s the best solution for your situation, we’ll book you an appointment with one of our specially-trained Scottish debt advisors.