4. Your assets

Your assets will be sold to pay your bankruptcy debts. You have to hand over your assets to the person appointed to manage your bankruptcy. This person is called your ‘trustee’ and can be:

  • an Official Receiver - an officer of the bankruptcy court
  • an insolvency practitioner - an authorised debt specialist

To begin with, the Official Receiver usually acts as your trustee.

Interview with the Official Receiver

Within 2 weeks of the court making you bankrupt, an Official Receiver will contact you to arrange an interview. The interview can be in person or over the telephone.

Information you need to provide

Usually, you’ll be asked to provide information about your debts, creditors, assets and income. You’ll be sent a letter telling you what you need to do and by when.

What happens

At the interview, the Official Receiver will:

  • check the information they have about your debts and assets
  • ask for more details - for example, about your pension or savings
  • ask how and why you became bankrupt
  • answer any questions you have about the bankruptcy process

You must provide any information you’re asked for or the date you’re discharged (freed) from your bankruptcy can be delayed.

Assets you can keep

You can usually keep:

  • items needed for your job - for example, tools, books or a vehicle
  • household items - for example, clothing, bedding or furniture

However, you may have to give these items up if they cost more than a reasonable replacement.

Your bank accounts

You must give the Official Receiver your bank cards, cheque books and credit cards. Your accounts will be frozen but your trustee may release:

  • any money you need urgently - for example, to buy food
  • your partner’s share of any money in a joint account

It’s up to your bank if they allow you to continue using the accounts.

Your pension

To find out what happens to your pension speak to your trustee. You can read the basics from the Insolvency Service.

Get free advice about how to manage your money and how bankruptcy affects your credit rating from Citizens Advice or the National Debtline.

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