What is Bankruptcy?
    Bankruptcy occurs when your debts reach a level that you are unable to pay. Regardless of the reasons for the growing debt, if you fail to honour your debt with one or more of your creditors, they are within their rights to apply to the courts to make you bankrupt. Creditors can be anyone you owe money to, such as HMRC, local councils, suppliers, or other companies and individuals.
Bankruptcy Restrictions
Far from being an ‘easy way out’ of debt, bankruptcy comes with farreaching restrictions that are imposed on your financial and working life. For starters, your bank accounts are frozen and your assets controlled by the Official Receiver (or Trustee if one is appointed). However, you are allowed to keep vital assets, such as those needed for work, and everyday household items. On top of these financial restrictions, you are also prohibited from becoming a company director, taking out loans over £500, running a company or using a different name to manage a company. Unless cancelled or annulled, your bankruptcy order usually lasts 12 months during which time you must adhere to the restrictions mentioned above. Once the order comes into force, details of your bankruptcy are added to the Individual Insolvency Register – a publicly available list run by the Insolvency Service. This consists of the names of people who have been declared bankrupt within England and Wales. The Official Receiver will also publish your bankruptcy in the London Gazette.  
The Offical Receiver
The Official Receiver works for the Insolvency Service. From the date of your bankruptcy, they have the responsibility to administer your estate, protecting your assets on behalf of your creditors. However, it is possible that an Insolvency Practitioner may be appointed to take over this role (usually when the bankrupt opts for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement).  
Insolvency Practitioners
This is someone who is licensed and authorised to act in relation to an insolvent individual, partnership or company.  
Your Options
Even though you have been declared bankrupt, there are still options open to you. We are here to assist you throughout the whole process, ensuring you’re fully aware of all your options.

  • Raising your own funds
  • Annulment funding
  • Stay in bankruptcy
  • Bridging finance
  • Join venture
What happens to your bank account once you enter bankruptcy?

Once your bankruptcy order has been made, your bank account(s) will be frozen, and you will no longer have access to the funds contained within them. At this point, you must hand over all of your bank cards and chequebooks to the Official Receiver assigned to your case, unless otherwise agreed. Once your accounts are frozen, any balances contained within become assets in your bankruptcy case and will be claimed by the Official Receiver.

What happens to your home once you enter bankruptcy?

If you own the house you live in, it is likely to be your biggest and most valuable asset, so the Official Receiver or Trustee will want to sell it to pay your creditors. This is regardless of whether your home is freehold or leasehold, and whether you are the sole or joint owner. However, if your home is under joint ownership, the Official Receiver or Trustee only has the right to claim your beneficial interest in the property.

What is a creditor?

Creditors can be banks, suppliers or anyone who has provided you with a loan or finance at some point before your bankruptcy. Every unsecured creditor to whom you owe money will need to be repaid to the satisfaction of the court before your bankruptcy can be annulled. One person or organisation initiates proceedings against you by issuing a Statutory Demand. They are called the Petitioning Creditor and must be paid all of the money they are owed plus legal costs. It’s important to remember that the total of your debts may be more than you expect because all your creditors are entitled to charge you at the prevailing rate of statutory interest, which is usually calculated from the date at which the debt began.

What is Bankruptcy Annulment?

Once a bankruptcy order has been made, you can apply to have it annulled (cancelled). This is usually because the bankruptcy order should not have been made in the first place, all of your debts and bankruptcy fees have been paid or secured by a third party, or if you have made an Individual Voluntary Arrangement with your creditors to pay part or all of your debts, and it has been approved.

To get your bankruptcy annulled you will need to complete an Annulment Application for the court. Two forms make up the Annulment Application; the first form is the Insolvency Act Application Notice and the second is the Witness Statement. It sounds like a complicated process, but don’t worry, we are here to assist you and to make sure both forms are completed accurately to avoid any delays in your annulment process.

Individual Insolvency Register

The Individual Insolvency Register (IIR) is an amalgamation of the individual insolvency, bankruptcy restrictions and debt relief registers. The Insolvency Service is required by statute to maintain these registers, ensuring they are kept up to date and that they are available for public inspection.

The information contained within the Individual Insolvency Register depends on the type of insolvency situation being listed. It provides information regarding bankruptcies that are both current or have ended in the last three months. Plus, it also contains information about other agreements such as Individual Voluntary Arrangements, Debt Recovery Orders

What happens at the court hearing?

Following the submission of your Annulment Application, the court will summons you for a hearing on the first available date they have. It is mandatory for you to attend the hearing, the duration of which is usually about 20 minutes. If you find you are unable to attend the hearing at the allotted time, you can request an adjournment.