How to Make a Person Bankrupt

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Expert advice on Bankruptcy

Learn how to make a debtor Bankrupt, and let us guide you through the process.

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Support for creditors

Call 0207 504 1300 now for advice on how to make an individual Bankrupt

Traditionally, there's a stigma attached to Bankruptcy. Consequently, forcing a debtor into Bankruptcy may be a viable option if you're having trouble collecting an outstanding debt.

Creditor's Bankruptcy Petition is an application to the court to seize and sell the assets of a person with debts of £5,000 or more.

Before presenting a debtor with a Bankruptcy Petition, you (the creditor) must 1st serve a Statutory Demand. This is a formal document demanding payment of an outstanding debt within 21 days. If the debtor neither pays nor reaches an agreement to pay, you can present a Bankruptcy Petition, costing £1,270 including the court fee.

Bankruptcy order

The petition should be filed in the county court nearest to where the debtor resides. A court may make a Bankruptcy Order if they decide the debtor is insolvent.

The procedure is almost identical to a Debtor's Bankruptcy Petition. The debtor is summoned by the Official Receiver for an examination, and an trustee (insolvency practitioner / IP) may be appointed.

Bankruptcy can affect a person's credit rating for up to 6 years. Additionally, they'll be unable to obtain credit of more than £250 without disclosing their Bankruptcy. Bankrupts still have to pay:

  • Court fines
  • Student loans
  • Child maintenance

Moreover, the trustee may sell some of their most valuable assets to pay creditors.

After the respondent (debtor) has been Bankrupt for 1 year, the trustee can try to seize and sell their home if there's significant equity in the property.

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In Bankruptcy, the function of a trustee (licensed insolvency practitioner / IP) is comparable to that of an administrator or liquidator in the insolvency of a limited company. Irrespective of the procedure, the IPs main task is to realise assets to pay creditors. Aside from the tools of the debtor's trade, absolutely everything is up for grabs. Furthermore, creditors are free to remove and replace the trustee with an IP of their choice.

IPOs and IPAs 

If a trustee believes the debtor has surplus income, they can ask the court to make the debtor pay up to 36 monthly payments into the Bankruptcy Estate via an Income Payments Order (IPO). Alternatively, a bankrupt can make these payments voluntarily through an Income Payment Agreement (IPA). The fee for both is approximately £150, which will be taken from their 1st payment.

BRUs and BROs

Additionally, Bankrupts who accept accusations of misconduct usually agree to sign a Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking (BRU), which extends the Bankruptcy conditions for another 3 or 4 years. However, if a Bankrupt challenges allegations of misconduct, their trustee and creditors may apply for a Bankruptcy Restriction Order (BRO), which can extend Bankruptcy conditions for up to 15 years.


I&L can help you recover payments from overdue debts, and advise how and when to make a creditor Bankrupt. Call 020 7504 1300 now for free and confidential advice…

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