1. When you can be made bankrupt

You can be made bankrupt if you:

  • don’t pay your debts and you owe £5,000 or more
  • break the terms of a Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
  • gave information that wasn’t true to get an IVA

There’s a separate guide if you choose to declare yourself bankrupt.

Before you’re made bankrupt

Before you can be made bankrupt, the people you owe (your ‘creditors’) have to try other legal ways to get you to pay your debt. This is usually a statutory demand or a court judgement.

Citizen’s Advice has guidance on what to do if you’re sent a statutory demand. You can decide to challenge a statutory demand if you disagree with it.

What happens if you’re made bankrupt

If you’re made bankrupt:

Getting help

If you’re being made bankrupt, you can get free advice:

If you don’t want to be made bankrupt

You may be able to oppose your bankruptcy petition.

Scotland and Northern Ireland

The bankruptcy process is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.