Information about why we send a bankruptcy enquiry letter and what to do if you receive one.
You may wonder why HM Land Registry has sent you a bankruptcy enquiry letter (B10A(CT) or B10A(ADJ)), or why your name has been linked to bankruptcy proceedings. This guidance helps to explain the bankruptcy process and answer questions you may have.
The bankruptcy process and enquiry letter B10A
The bankruptcy process
There are two ways in which someone can be declared bankrupt.
If a person in debt (a debtor) wants to declare themselves bankrupt, they will apply to an Adjudicator in the Insolvency Service by completing an online declaration of assets. The Adjudicator will decide whether or not to make a bankruptcy order.
If someone who is owed money (a creditor) wants to make a debtor bankrupt, they have to issue court proceedings against that person and ask the court to make a bankruptcy order.
The courts and the Insolvency Service must inform us when bankruptcy proceedings have started, and when a bankruptcy order has been made.
The Land Charges Department, which is part of HM Land Registry, has to maintain a register which records the names and details of people affected by bankruptcy proceedings and bankruptcy orders, as provided by the courts and Insolvency Service.
We must also record details of bankruptcy proceedings and bankruptcy orders in the title register of any property which appears to be owned by the affected person. To find out which title registers may be affected, we compare the names of debtors or bankrupts that have been added to the Land Charges register with our index of names of people who own registered land (the index of registered proprietors).
The bankruptcy enquiry letter B10A
Our Bankruptcy Unit needs to find out whether you are the person named in the bankruptcy proceedings. Your name appears to be the same as that of a debtor or bankrupt person that the Insolvency Service or the courts have told us about. This is not unusual, as there are often many people who have the same name.
We receive only limited information, particularly from the courts, so it is difficult for us to identify whether the debtor or bankrupt and the registered property owner are the same person.
People may own more than one property and those properties could be in any part of England or Wales. We therefore send an enquiry letter to registered property owners who have the same name as the person affected by bankruptcy proceedings, asking whether they are the person named in the proceedings.
Other Identity information
Identity details such as birth dates or national insurance numbers are not recorded in the title register or in the index of registered proprietors. Even if we did have access to such information we would still not be able to match the names of people mentioned in bankruptcy proceedings with registered property owners in every case.
Our enquiry does not mean that someone has fraudulently used your identity. It is simply that a person named in bankruptcy proceedings happens to have the same name as you.
Details of the bankrupt person
The information about the bankruptcy proceedings is a matter of public record. We have included it in the B10A enquiry letter so that you can contact the courts or the Adjudicator Office for more information if you wish.
The B10A enquiry letter may have been sent to an address where you don’t live.
When the property was registered in your name, the details of your address that you or your solicitor provided on the application form were entered in the title register. This is the address that we use to contact you. It is your responsibility to keep your address up to date in the register and it is very important that you do this. Find out how to update the owners contact address and also for information about our Property Alert service.
Letters sent by post
We do not have access to people’s email addresses unless they tell us, or ask us to include them in the register. If there is no email address, our notices and letters go to any postal address shown in the title register.
Respond to the bankruptcy enquiry letter B10A
We need to have written evidence from you using the reply form in the B10A enquiry letter. You should complete the reply form, sign and date it, and return it to us by the date shown in the enquiry letter. You can use the pre-paid envelope provided or email a scanned image of the signed and dated form to Plymouth.Office@landregistry.gov.uk.
The reply form is an official document and we will retain it as evidence.
If you ARE NOT the person named in the bankruptcy proceedings, circle “no” on the reply form, sign and date it and return it to us, and no further action will be taken.
If you ARE the person named in the bankruptcy proceedings, circle “yes” on the reply form, sign and date it and return it to us. We will then make an entry about the bankruptcy proceedings in your title register and inform you when we have done so.
Effect on your title register if you do not reply to our enquiry
If you don’t reply to our enquiry, then it appears that the property is, or may be, affected by bankruptcy proceedings. The law requires us to make an entry in the title register in order to protect the interests of people who are owed money. We will make the entry and send you a letter to inform you.
Effect on your property
This is just an enquiry to ask if you are the same person as that named in bankruptcy proceedings. If you are not the bankrupt person, you will not lose your property. If you are the bankrupt person, you will need to seek independent legal advice. We cannot give you legal advice.
Effect on your credit rating
Our enquiry is purely an investigation and will have no impact on your credit rating. However, a bankruptcy entry in your title register could affect your credit rating.
Removal of a bankruptcy entry
You can ask us to remove a bankruptcy entry made in your title register because of non-reply to our B10A enquiry letter, if you are not the person named in the bankruptcy proceedings.
If it is less than 3 months since we sent the B10A enquiry letter, contact us and we will send you a further copy to enable you to sign and return the reply form. The register entry will then be removed. If you are unsure when the B10A enquiry letter was sent, or you did not receive one, contact us.
If it is more than 3 months since we sent the B10A enquiry letter, you will need to send us a statement of truth to confirm that you are not the person named in bankruptcy proceedings. On receipt of this statement, we will remove the entry from your registered title. Information about statements of truth, the requirements and how to make them, can be found in our practice guide 73: statements of truth.
PO Box 292
Telephone 0300 006 6107
The relevant law is in:
- rules 10.13, 10.37 and 10.46 of The Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016
- sections 1, 5 and 6 Land Charges Act 1972
- rule 3 and Schedule 1 Land Charges Rules 1974
- sections 86(2) and 86(4) of the Land Registration Act 2002
- rules 11 and 165-170 of the Land Registration Rules 2003
For more information about the bankruptcy proceedings, you should either contact:
- the court
- the Adjudicator Office directly (telephone 0300 678 0015) using the details provided in the B10A enquiry letter
Published: 23 June 2017
From: HM Land Registry