3. Restrictions

If you’re made bankrupt by the court you have to follow ‘bankruptcy restrictions’. This means you can’t:

  • borrow more than £500 without telling the lender you’re bankrupt
  • act as a director of a company
  • create, manage or promote a company without the court’s permission
  • manage a business with a different name without telling people you do business with that you’re bankrupt
  • work as an insolvency practitioner (an authorised debt specialist)

It’s a criminal offence to break the restrictions - if you do, the date you’re discharged (freed from your bankruptcy) can be delayed.

You should also co-operate with the people managing your bankruptcy. For example, provide any information they ask for.

How long the restrictions last

The restrictions usually last for 12 months from the date the court made you bankrupt.

Check the Individual Insolvency Register to find out when the restrictions end.

When the restrictions can be extended

Bankruptcy restrictions can be extended if your careless or dishonest behaviour caused your bankruptcy. For example, you tried to hide assets or you got credit using false information.

The Official Receiver (an officer of the bankruptcy court) will tell you if the restrictions are going to be extended. To extend the restrictions, you’ll be asked to agree to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking. If you don’t agree, they’ll ask the court to issue a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order.

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