If you can’t pay your debts and want to declare yourself bankrupt, you must apply to a court to issue a bankruptcy order against you.
There’s a different guide if you’re being made bankrupt.
What happens when you go bankrupt
Once the court has issued a bankruptcy order:
- you’ll receive a copy of the bankruptcy order and may be interviewed about your situation
- your assets can be used to pay your debts
- you’ll have to follow the bankruptcy restrictions
- your name and details will be published on the Individual Insolvency Register
After 12 months you’re usually discharged (released) from your bankruptcy restrictions and debts. Assets that were part of your estate during the bankruptcy period can still be used to pay your debts.
You might be able to cancel (annul) your bankruptcy before you’re discharged.
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:
- the Citizens Advice bankruptcy advice guide
- the Money Advice Service’s guide on options for writing off your debt
You can also contact the National Debtline for bankruptcy advice.