How To Declare Bankruptcy
If you have looked at all the routes available to you and you have reached the conclusion that declaring bankruptcy is the best option, then you need to go through a formal process with the courts. This means submitting a formal application in order to begin the procedure.
It is extremely important to note that before you do this you need to ensure that you have enough cash to cover your daily expenses. This is because as soon as your bankruptcy is made official, all of your accounts will be frozen and you will not be able to access any of the funds in them.
In this guide:
Contact You County Court
Your bankruptcy application will be handled by your local county court. Your local county court will be the court in the area that you have lived in for at least 6 months.
If you live in the city of London, you will need to send your application to the High Court. If this is not the case for you, then you can find the relevant county court by checking the "courts" section in your phonebook. Another way to find out which county court is your local one is by checking Her Majesty's Court Service online at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.
If you need to contact the High Court because you live in London, you can do so by using this contact information:
Royal Courts of Justice
Tel: 020 7947 6000
Tel: 020 7947 6441 (Bankruptcy enquiries)
Although this may sound strange, there are a number of fees associated with declaring bankruptcy. There is a £525 deposit payment that you must pay with any application that you make for bankruptcy, you will not receive back at any point. There is also a fee of £180 that you may be required to pay, however there is the chance that you could get the court to lower this or remove it completely if you are unable to pay it. To find out more about whether or not you are eligible for this reduction you should request an EX160 form.
It is essential that you clarify whether or not you have enough money to cover these fees before you make your bankruptcy application. If this is not the case, then there may be other options available that would better suit your position. One example of these debt solutions would be to try for a debt relief order.
Statement of Affairs and Bankruptcy Petition
The best way to make sure your bankruptcy application goes as smoothly as possible is to check out the Insolvency Service website by going to www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency. You need to find their form numbered 6.27, which is the form for your bankruptcy petition, and their form numbered 6.28, which is the form for your statement of affairs. Once you have these you need to fill them in and then see that they are sent directly to the courts.
The next step will be to compile a list of all your property and other possessions that may have a resale value of some kind. It is worth remembering that all of these items will immediately be available for sale once your bankruptcy is made official. You should definitely make a copy of any paperwork that you fill out throughout this process because you may find that you need to refer to them at a later date.
Swearing an Affidavit
Once you have completed all the necessary bits of paperwork, you will then have to make a visit to the courts in order to swear an affidavit. What this means is that you will need to swear to the court that you have been truthful with all of the information that you provided them with. This includes all the paperwork and itineraries that you have filled out.
You are required to bring with you two copies of each of your forms and the original. You will also need to take cash in order to pay the deposit and other additional fees that may be needed.
You must be aware that failing to be truthful in any of the forms that you fill out, including lying about how much property you are in possession of, is a serious criminal offence. This can be punished with either a large fine or even a prison sentence - varying in accordance with the magnitude of your offence.
It is also an offence to hide property or to attempt to rid yourself of it before you file for bankruptcy.
After your affidavit has been sworn, you will then be given a date upon which your hearing will take place. In some cases your hearing will take place immediately.