How To File Bankruptcy

Advice on Declaring Personal Bankruptcy

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How To Claim Bankruptcy:
What Is Bankruptcy and When Is It Appropriate?

Bankruptcy is understandably seen as a last resort. It is a formal procedure used to settle the affairs of people whose liabilities exceed their assets (you owe more than you own). You can either petition for bankruptcy yourself to seek protection from creditors, or a creditor owed more than £750 can ask the court to declare you bankrupt.

It is a way of wiping the slate clean, but there are many effects of bankruptcy that you need to be aware of and consider carefully before choosing to go down this route. First of all you must make sure you are aware of all the alternatives to bankruptcy and that this really is the best option.

The main alternatives, which should certainly be considered first, are Debt Settlement for US citizens and IVAs for UK citizens.

How To File Bankruptcy:
What is Bankruptcy?

The process of Bankruptcy is that once a petition is made (usually either by you or one of your creditors) the court will make a Bankruptcy Order against you. This can still happen even if you dispute or ignore the process. Your affairs will then be dealt with by the Official Receiver, who will appoint a bankruptcy trustee, who has to administer your financial affairs and arrange disposal of your assets to repay your creditors.

There are certain assets that you should be allowed to retain, including pension funds, things to need to carry out a trade, clothing, furniture, bedding, etc and a modest vehicle. First time personal bankruptcies should only last for 12 months before being discharged.

How To File Bankruptcy:
The Process Involved in Declaring Personal Bankruptcy

The process for declaring personal bankruptcy is fairly straightforward. You first need to obtain the relevant forms from the County Court for the part of the country you live in. These forms are the 'Debtor's Petition' and the 'Statement Of Affairs'. Alternatively you are able to fill these in online via the website of the Insolvency Service. Before you can present your petition, you are required to swear an oath, which can be done through a solicitor or Commissioner For Oaths. There is a court fee to be paid before the bankruptcy proceedings can commence. Sound like the last thing you need, but it is to cover the costs incurred by the court. This is usually around £500, but check with the court first.

Once you have your forms completed you go to the County Court to present your paperwork. It is best to get there first thing, which should give time to get everything sorted in one day. The judge will then assess your claim and and if you meet the criteria will approve you being declared bankrupt. That is the easy part over!

Then you move on to the Official Receiver, who will go through your affairs with you in much more detail. This will include how long the bankruptcy should last, what happens to your assets and whether you need to make payments to any of your creditors.

How To File Bankruptcy:
The Advantages of Declaring Personal Bankruptcy

How To File Bankruptcy:
Disadvantages of Declaring Personal Bankruptcy

What To Do Next

If you think bankruptcy may be the best course of action, but are still not sure, the best thing to do is apply to a Debt Advisor, who will be able to either begin the bankruptcy process of advise you of any alternatives available to you.

You can do this quickly an easily by entering you basic details through an onine form. The company will then get back to you to gather further details and advise you of the alternatives open to you, and your best course of action.

UK residents can apply for debt advice now by using the form at the bottom of this page, or you can view the recommendations for the best debt advisors in the UK and US on the main Debt Management page of this site.

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