1. Overview

To be made bankrupt, a court has to issue a bankruptcy order against you. This can happen for 2 reasons:

When you’re made bankrupt:

  • your assets can be used to pay your debts
  • you must follow certain rules called the ‘bankruptcy restrictions’
  • your name and details will be published on a bankruptcy register called the ‘Individual Insolvency Register’
  • after 12 months you’re usually discharged (freed) from your bankruptcy

The bankruptcy process is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read the Citizens Advice bankruptcy advice guide, the Money Advice Service’s guide on options for writing off your debt or contact the National Debtline for bankruptcy advice.

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

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