Declaring Bankruptcy

Declaring Yourself Bankrupt

Can I Go Bankrupt

Declaring bankruptcy is not an easy way to escape your debt problems. It is important you research how bankruptcy works, as there important considerations and personal restrictions you must take into account.

Any UK resident can declare themselves bankrupt – there is no minimum debt in law; but you’d normally owe a least a few thousand pounds for reasons of practicality.

Before attempting to declare yourself bankrupt you should seek information about alternatives and ensure that these options have been fully explored.

How To Declare Bankruptcy

Applications for self bankruptcy are made online.
This is done via the Insolvency Service and does not involve a Court hearing nor a Judge.

An Adjudicator appointed by the Insolvency Service decides if you should be made bankrupt.

1. Start your application by creating an account

2. Fill in your entire application

The application is quite long – but you do not need to do it all at once; you’re emailed a reference which you can use to login and continue later.

Before starting it is advisable to draw up a budget of your total income and what it costs you to live each month.

Documents you’ll need to have at hand to complete your application include:

Details of Income

  • Wage slips
  • Benefits statements
  • Pension statements

Details of Outgoings

For example, but limited to

  • Household bills (eg electricity, gas, water, etc)
  • Rents or mortgage
  • Secured loan payments
  • Council tax/rates
  • Hire purchase/rental agreements
  • Child Maintenance payments
  • Other expenses required to maintain a reasonable standard of personal or family living (clothing, travel, parenting cost, etc)

Details of debts

  • Credit cards
  • Unsecured loans
  • Unpaid council tax bills from previous years
  • Enforcement agent or bailiff letters
  • Details of any benefit deductions
  • Court fines
  • Other outstanding debts, for example unpaid utility bills from a previous address

The details of who lives with you and how old they are will help the Official Receiver later in trying to decide if an Income Payments Agreement is required.

3. Pay the full £680 bankruptcy fee

This is made up of..

  • £130 adjudicator fee and;
  • £550 Official Receiver’s fee

You are allowed to pay this in installments online started from £5.

4. Submit your application

Do not frivolously submit the application.
Bankruptcy is a serious matter; you must be sure you’ve taken the appropriate advice and given and all other options due consideration.

4. Assessment

Once the application is submitted the Adjudicator will decide if a Bankruptcy Order is to be made.

You will be contacted by post or email once a decision is made; They aim to process 95% of applications within 2 working days.

There are 5 possible outcomes:-

  1. More information is requested to decide whether a Bankruptcy Order should be made.
  2. The application is dismissed (rejected).
  3. You are referring you to an approved intermediary if a Debt Relief Order may be appropriate.
  4. An Insolvency Practitioner is appointed if an IVA could be more appropriate.
  5. A Bankruptcy Order is made.

4. Bankruptcy Order is made

If your bankruptcy order is made, the details are passed to your local Official Receiver’s office who will interview you about your circumstances and assets.

The Official Receiver will then look how best to raise money from your available asset and ongoing income (if any) for the benefit of your creditors.

2.Appealing a Bankruptcy ruling

In the event it is rejected you have 14 days to request a review.

If the Adjudicator decides to uphold the decision not to grant a Bankruptcy Order then you’ll have 28 days to appeal this decision to Court. The Court will then either grant or deny an order.

Can I Deal with my Debts Without Declaring Bankruptcy?

If you feel as though you have unmanageable debt but don’t want to go ahead with declaring bankruptcy, then there could be ways that you can do this. There are alternatives to declaring bankruptcy which you may want to consider, such as a debt relief order or an IVA.

Whatever your financial situation, we can help to find the right debt solution for your debt problems.

Money Helper (formerly The Money Advice Service) is a free service set up by the Government to help people make the most of their money. If you would like to learn more click here. is not regulated and is for fact-finding only. We can help assess your circumstances and point you to someone who can provide available options that suit your debt criteria.

If an individual meets the required criteria for an IVA based on our packaged case, this will be passed to one of our partnering Insolvency Practitioners to get direct advice. If the individual does not meet the criteria for an IVA, The Insolvency practitioner is able to provide contact information for other third-party organisations that offer advice on other available debt solutions. For full details view our Privacy Policy.

If you decide that an IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement) is not the best option for you after we have prepared the necessary information, you can opt out of the process and have all of your details removed. We receive a fee from the third party that we refer you to for introducing you and for the work we have completed. However, you will not be responsible for paying this fee. The third party will contact you directly to continue the process of your IVA application or to explore other solutions, but only with your permission after we have introduced you.