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i England, Wales and Northern Ireland

What is bankruptcy

Voluntary bankruptcy

Entering into voluntary bankruptcy is known as a 'debtor's petition'. This means you apply to make yourself bankrupt.

The rules around debt relief orders (DRO) have changed. These changes could benefit those considering an insolvency solution like bankruptcy. Please take a look at the changes, as for some people a DRO will be cheaper than full bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy is a debt solution for people who cannot pay their debts in a good amount of time.

You may have to sell items of value during your bankruptcy. Such as your home or car.

Bankruptcy is not likely to be the best option for you if:

  • Your assets are worth more than your debts, or
  • All of your regular payments are up to date and you can afford to keep paying them

Applying for bankruptcy is called ‘petitioning for bankruptcy’.

To enter into bankruptcy voluntarily, you must:

  • Submit bankruptcy forms online
  • Pay a fee

Can someone else make me bankrupt?

You can be made bankrupt by the people you owe.

They do this to try to get the money you owe them.

1. First, they issue you with a document called a 'statutory demand'.

  • This is a written warning
  • It lets you know the people you owe will start bankruptcy proceedings if you do not pay your debt or come to an agreement with them
  • It should be delivered to you in person

2. They start bankruptcy proceedings 21 days after they issue the statutory demand.

We can help you deal with a statutory demand quickly.

The people you owe can make you bankrupt without a statutory demand if:

  • You had an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) which failed
  • They tried to use bailiffs or enforcement agents to collect a debt, but you do not own anything of value

If the people you owe make you bankrupt the process is the same as if you petition for it yourself. But the people you owe will have to pay the court fees for you.

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Worried about bankruptcy?

Free, online debt advice available now.

Get debt help

Bankruptcy advice from StepChange Debt Charity

Get free, expert advice if you are:

  • Worried about your level of debt
  • Considering bankruptcy

Use our online debt advice tool to find out if bankruptcy is right for you.