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

Personal bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a debt solution and a form of insolvency. It’s a legal procedure mainly suited to people whose circumstances are unlikely to change and who have little hope of paying off their debts within a reasonable time.

Bankruptcy works differently depending on where you live in the UK. If you’re living in Scotland please visit our section on sequestration (Scottish bankruptcy). If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland the information below outlines the bankruptcy process.  

Video: An introduction to bankruptcy

How does bankruptcy work?

Bankruptcy is a form of insolvency, and normally only suitable if you can’t pay back your debts in a reasonable time. Any assets you own, such as your house, will normally 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.

When you make yourself bankrupt almost all of your unsecured debts are written off, allowing you to make a fresh start. But personal bankruptcy rules mean you will face certain restrictions.

About personal bankruptcy


  1. What is bankruptcy?
  2. How bankruptcy affects me
  3. How to go bankrupt
  4. After bankruptcy