There are various options available for people looking to break free of debt. One of these is bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a type of insolvency that people undertake when they cannot repay the money they owe.

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If you declare bankruptcy in the UK, personal assets such as your car and any properties you own will usually be sold off to repay your outstanding debts. As such, if your assets are worth more than your debts, or you can continue to afford to make your debt repayments, personal bankruptcy is not recommended as the best option for you. Whilst bankruptcy may be a good option for some, there are many restrictions connected with it, such as it being very difficult for you to get further credit in the future. Furthermore, some debt such as student loans, secured debts, child support and fines are not covered by bankruptcy. Therefore, declaring bankruptcy may still leave you with debts that need to be repaid. Because of these factors and many others, bankruptcy should only be undertaken once you have spoken to a financial expert and all other options have been considered.

Below you can view a list of Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Bankruptcy is just one of several options to be considered when an individual cannot repay their debts. If you are ever faced with the prospect of bankruptcy, you should always look at alternatives as soon as possible such as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement or a Debt Management Plan. Bankruptcy can free you from overwhelming debt to give you a fresh start on your finances, however it is a serious commitment and should not be entered into lightly.

Bankruptcy has two main aims:

  • To free the individual from the pressures of creditors (people they owe money to) to enable him or her to make a fresh start.
  • To ensure that all assets (such as property and investments) are distributed fairly among your creditors.

Anyone can go bankrupt, including individual members of a partnership. There are different insolvency procedures for dealing with companies and for partnerships themselves.

The Courts are officially responsible for making a bankruptcy order against an individual, although this is usually done at the request of either the individual or one of his/her creditors.

The assets of the bankrupt individual then fall under the control of a Trustee, this will be either the Official Receiver (a civil servant and officer of the Court), or a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. Whoever is appointed becomes responsible for uncovering as much as possible about the debtor’s assets and liabilities and then maximising returns for the creditors from the assets available, within certain guidelines.

Once a bankruptcy order has been made against you, your creditors can no longer pursue you for payment. Making payment to your creditors becomes the responsibility of the Trustee.

Free and impartial money advice is available from the Money Helper, an organisation set up by the Goverment for people in debt.