Dealing with your Official Receiver during Bankruptcy

If your bankruptcy petition is approved by the court, a formal recognition will be given to you in the form of a “bankruptcy order”.

You will also been sent a letter from the official receiver within two weeks of being declared bankrupt by the court. The official receiver is a representative from your presiding county court who will be tasked with processing and managing your bankruptcy.

Letter from the official receiver

The letter you receive from your official receiver may contain a request asking you to attend either a personal meeting with them or a two way conference on the phone.

You might also be mailed a questionnaire to fill out- though this may not be necessary if you pursued going bankrupt yourself.

A number of informational documents might also be sent with the letter which should clearly map out all the integral things you need to be aware of about your bankruptcy and what you will be required to adhere to in the upcoming 12 months.

The information you will need to give your official receiver

Typically, you will be required to give information about your lenders, assets, salary, dependents and unsecured debts.

Interview with the official receiver

Depending on your circumstances and your presiding official receiver, your interview can be undertaken personally or via the telephone.

During the meeting, your official receiver will likely:

  • Evaluate the disclosures you have made about your financial situation and assets.
  • Request further information about your finances, such as the amount of money you have put away in a savings account or your pension.
  • Enquire about the circumstances which resulted in you pursuing bankruptcy in the first place.
  •  Answer all queries you have about the bankruptcy procedure and the requirements you will be expected to adhere to.

If it arises in the future that you desire to cancel your bankruptcy order, you will be able to make a request to your official receiver in order for them to decide whether it is necessary.

The end of your bankruptcy order might be prolonged if you fail to provide information that has been requested of you by someone tasked with managing your bankruptcy.

In order to formally declare you bankrupt, a court must first decree a bankruptcy order against you. This might occur for three primary reasons:

  • You pursue bankruptcy yourself due to an inability to repay your unsecured creditor debts and make a formal application to the court.
  • Your creditors petition the court for you to be declared bankruptcy. This can only be done by lenders who you owe more than £750 to, and will typically be pursued as a last resort option to recollect some of the money you have borrowed.
  • An insolvency practitioner asks the court to declare you bankrupt due to a breach of the terms and conditions of your individual voluntary arrangement.

What happens after you have been made bankrupt?

After the court has given you a bankruptcy order you will:

  • Be given a copy of the order and might be asked to attend an interview with the official receiver so they can assess your circumstances further.
  • Hand over control of your assets to the official receiver, who will then decide which can be re-sold to contribute toward your debt repayment.
  • Be required to abide to a number of regulations, entitled ‘bankruptcy restrictions’.
  • A reference of your information and name will be officially placed onto the Individual Insolvency Register.

Typically, you will be discharged from your bankruptcy order and all the inhibitions that are attached to it exactly one year from the day it was issued to you by the court.

However, assets in your portfolio that you possessed whilst bankrupt can still be utilised in order to repay some of your debt, even after the order has officially been discharged. You might also be asked to contribute more money towards your debt up to three years after your bankruptcy order was rescinded if your income significantly picks up during this time.

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