Bankruptcy can either be applied for by the person who wishes to declare themselves bankrupt - or it can be sought by a creditor in an attempt to collect any money owed.
Before deciding to apply for bankruptcy, it is important to consider the pros and cons of doing so. The overall process of going bankrupt consists of the following stages in England and Wales:
- Apply for bankruptcy
- Wait for the adjudicator's decision to either make a bankruptcy order or reject the application - this generally takes 28 days but can be extended by 14 days if they require more information
- If a bankruptcy application is rejected by the adjudicator, consider asking for a review and lodging an appeal - you can request an appeal by submitting a form that complies with Rule 10.44 to your local court that deals with bankruptcy. You can use the Gov.uk's template Form 10.44 bankruptcy application to appeal against an Adjudicator’s decision to refuse to make a bankruptcy order.
- If the application is accepted and a bankruptcy order is made, banks or building society accounts belonging to the bankrupt are frozen
- Cooperate with the official receiver - an interview will normally take place over the phone
- Open a new 'basic' bank account - some banks will not offer any type of account to a bankrupt
- Discharge from bankruptcy (generally after 12 months from the date of the bankruptcy order)