2. Declare yourself bankrupt

You have to ask (‘petition’) the court if you want to be declared bankrupt.

Check whether there are any other ways to deal with your debts before you decide to declare bankruptcy.

Get a bankruptcy petition

Download and fill in both:

The court will usually need 3 copies of each completed form.

Contact the Insolvency Enquiry Line if you need help filling in the forms.

Insolvency Enquiry Line
Telephone: 0300 678 0015
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Find out about call charges


You must pay:

  • £525 for managing your bankruptcy
  • £180 for court costs - you might not have to pay this if you’re on Income Support

You can pay using cash, postal orders or a solicitor’s cheque made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’.

You must pay a fee for each petition you want to file with the court.

The court won’t accept your petition unless the fees are paid. Contact Citizens Advice to find out which charities can help you pay the fees.

You might be able to get help paying the fees if you’re getting certain benefits or on a low income.

If you don’t live in England or Wales

You can declare yourself bankrupt in England or Wales if you live outside the EU or in Denmark.

You can’t declare yourself bankrupt in England or Wales if you live somewhere else in the EU, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Being bankrupt means you must not break restrictions in England or Wales. These restrictions may also apply outside England and Wales - check the laws of the country you live in.