1. Overview

To be made bankrupt, a court has to issue a bankruptcy order against you. This can happen for 3 reasons:

Check if you’re eligible to apply for bankruptcy in England or Wales if you live in another country.

What happens when you go bankrupt

Once the court has issued a bankruptcy order:

After 12 months you’re usually discharged (released) from your bankruptcy restrictions and debts, although assets that were part of your estate during the bankruptcy period can still be used to pay your debts.

Bankruptcy only applies to individuals. Limited companies that can’t pay their creditors are ‘insolvent’ and can face compulsory liquidation.

Get help and information

Read the following:

You can also contact the National Debtline for bankruptcy advice.

Scotland, Northern Ireland

The bankruptcy process is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.