How to go bankrupt

If you have assessed all options available to you and come to the decision that you want to go bankruptcy, then you will be need to make a formal application to the court.

Prior to embarking on this, attempt to ensure that you have a sufficient amount of cash to cover day-to-day expenses because after your bankruptcy order is decreed, every single one of your accounts will be frozen.

In order to make an application for bankruptcy to the court, you will need to follow the measures below:

Find your local county court

You will have to make your formal bankruptcy application to the local county court in the area you have lived for the 6 months, (though there are certain cases where an individual can lobby the local county court where they go to work).

If you are someone who lives in London, then you will have to make an application to the High Court, whilst individuals outside the capital should look in their phone directory under “Courts”. This should make you aware of which local county court you will need to visit to start Bankruptcy proceedings, though you can also find information of courts that will preside over bankruptcy cases on the Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) site at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.

However, a quick visit to your nearest local county court of High court can still be beneficial even if they are not the correct authority to contact for your Bankruptcy because they have the information at their disposal to tell you which court you should be going to.

If you live in London, then you can get into contact with the High Court by using one of the following details:

Bankruptcy Court
Royal Courts of Justice
Tel: 020 7947 6000
Tel: 020 7947 6441 (Bankruptcy enquiries)

Pay your Bankruptcy costs and other fees

Any application you make to go bankrupt must be supplemented by a £525 deposit payment, which you will not be given back. You may also be required to pay a fee totalling £180, although this is dependent on your situation and the court could decide to lower this sum or remove the necessitation to pay it at all if you are in particularly dire straits. Make a request to the court for them to give you an EX160 form in order to attain further clarification on this area.

It is important that you ensure you have a sufficient amount of money at your disposal in order to cover the costs of the deposit, prior to making your application to go bankrupt. If you’re aware that you currently do not have enough disposable cash available to you to pay the £525 compulsory fee, then perhaps it is worth considering a different debt solution to your financial difficulties, such as a debt relief order.

Fill in a bankruptcy petition and a statement of affairs

In order to have a clear and easy start to your personal bankruptcy, visit the Insolvency Service site at www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency. Once you are there, look for forms 6.27 (bankruptcy petition form) and 6.28 (statement of affairs), print them out and fill them in, so you can send them off to the courts.

Whilst filling in the forms, it is imperative that you make a full and comprehensive reference of all your creditors, irrespective of whether you are currently disputing the size of the debt you owe to one of them. It is also vital that you provide thorough information about all your bank and building society accounts, because a failure to adhere to this can have serious ramifications and consequences later on down the line.

You will also be required to write down all of your assets and itinerary which possess re-sale value, such as any jewellery and antiquities that belong to you. Keep in mind that all items you reference on this list will be at immediate risk of sale when your bankruptcy period begins.

It is advised that you retain a copy of your filled-in petition and statement of affairs forms because you might require them at a later interview with the Official Receiver.

Swear an affidavit

After you have finished filling out the courts, you’ll need to make a visit to the court in order to swear an affidavit. Essentially, this involves you swearing to the court that all information you have provided on your petition and statement of affairs forms are true.

You will need to bring two copies of your forms as well as the original and take cash to pay for the deposit and additional fee.

Remember, if you lie or omit the truth on either of your forms, or fail to alert the Official Receiver about the full extent of your property portfolio, then this will be regarded as a criminal offence The punishment for such misconduct can range from a hefty fine to a custodial sentence, depending on the severity of your offence. Intentionally hiding property or documentary evidence, or ridding yourself of one of your assets prior to going bankrupt is also regarded as a criminal offence.

After you have sworn your affidavit, you will either be given a fixed date for when your hearing will take place, or the presiding court might opt to open your case right away.

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