Making someone bankrupt is one way to recover money owed to you - you will have to pay a fee.

A mediation service could be quicker and cheaper than making someone bankrupt. Mediation is when an impartial person helps two sides work out an agreement.


The court fees to make someone bankrupt are:

  • £750 petition deposit (for managing the bankruptcy)
  • £280 for court costs

You can pay the fees using cash, postal orders or a cheque made payable to Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service.

The basics

You’ll need a solicitor or debt specialist to help you because you’ll have to:

  • petition (apply to) the court to issue a bankruptcy order
  • prove the debtor owes £750 or more (to 1 or more creditors)
  • prove the debtor can’t repay what they owe

There is a different process for creditor bankruptcy petitions in Scotland.

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