How long will I be bankrupt?

The general rule is that you will be discharged after a maximum period of twelve months and will no longer be bankrupt. This period can be shorter should the Official Receiver complete his enquiries earlier and file a notice to that effect in court.

The duration of the bankruptcy can also be altered in the following circumstances:

  • The court annuls the order on the grounds that all debts have been paid in full.
  • The court annuls the bankruptcy on the ground that the original order was not appropriate.
  • The discharge has been suspended as a result of failure to co-operate with the Official Receiver or Trustee. Only after the breach causing the suspension has been rectified will the twelve-month period continue.

Although you are no longer bankrupt once discharged, it’s important to note that its effects may extend much longer, affecting your credit rating, for example.

What happens when the bankruptcy order is granted?

Once the order is granted, the court will contact the Official Receivers’ office and tell them that the order has been made. A representative of the Official receivers’ staff will then ask you to attend an interview at their offices to discuss your financial circumstances.

You will be requested to complete and return a questionnaire prior to this interview. Once the Official Receiver has all the relevant information he will decide what assets, if any, will be taken from you. He’ll also assess your income and expenditure to determine whether or not to make an income payments order as well.

How will bankruptcy it affect my credit rating?

Your credit rating will be affected by bankruptcy. Credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax and Call Credit maintain records of your credit accounts. Failure to maintain contractual payments towards any debts will result in a default notice being made on your credit file.

These notices will remain on your credit file for 6 years (unless the creditor agrees to remove them prior to this) and may affect your ability to obtain credit.

Who are you regulated by?

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) regulate our Insolvency Practitioners.

What if I change my mind?

Please see our Terms of Business for full details on your right to cancel.

Please note that an IVA is a legally binding arrangement and cannot be cancelled once a meeting of creditors has been accepted. Failure to maintain payments towards your IVA could result in a termination of your IVA.