How do I go bankrupt?

[bitsontherun WP27zNdn]

Bankruptcy is something of a minefield for anyone not working in the insolvency sector. As such an individual looking to make an application of this kind must seek out professional advice in order to have their individual circumstances taken into account.

Every case is different then, though there are some cut and dry guidelines that apply in all instances for cases to be successful. And this goes well beyond having difficulty in paying utility or store card bills, though both of those will be taken into account, because ultimately the test to see if you qualify centres on income and assets versus outgoings, and your long term ability to meet all fiscal responsibilities.

Put simply then if you have little to no available income with which to repay debts to one or more creditors of £750 or more, unsecured, then bankruptcy may be an option, if there is less value in your assets (i.e. car, home, and savings) than there is owed out.  In this scenario there are two possible ways to be declared bankrupt; voluntarily and involuntarily.

Suffice to say the names are self-explanatory, one being where an individual decides debts are no longer manageable, the other where a creditor files against the individual for failing to repay on a loan agreement- from credit cards to purchase hire. When a bankruptcy petition is filed against you a statutory demand will be issued first.

This is a request for payment giving 21 days to settle, or 18 days to provide evidence and request that the court dismisses the claim.

Failure to respond may well result in a bankruptcy order being brought against you, or if trading under a company name, a winding up order can be issued as an equivalent. In both instances an insolvency practitioner (where appointed) and the official receiver for your case can provide assistance with the necessary paperwork and court dates.

Should you wish to file for bankruptcy voluntarily the court requires a debtor’s petition first, in which a request is made that the court declare you bankrupt, with the reasons why outlined- this is done by completing Insolvency Rules 1986 form 6.27. In addition to this, Insolvency Rules 1986 form 6.28, the statement of affairs, will also be required, wherein you need to provide a complete list of individual creditors (names and addresses), along with a Statement of Truth, confirming that the information provided is entirely accurate.

Whether voluntarily or involuntarily filing for bankruptcy the cost in England & Wales is currently £175 court fees, and a £525 official receiver’s fee. For Northern Ireland the rates are £115 court fees, £345 official receiver’s fee, and £7 for a solicitor. Though this outlines some of the basics to the initial process, as highlighted earlier, insolvency is a long and complex procedure, and as such it’s vital that you contact a registered debt charity or organisation before proceeding with a petition, not least as the repercussions that follow any successful application are severe, and seriously impact on your financial future.  


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.