From April 6th 2016 there will be a new process to help people enter Bankruptcy. This involves submitting an online application to an adjudicator who will decide if you should be made Bankrupt.
“we know from our own research that many people are intimidated by the idea of going to court and so will not consider bankruptcy, even though they are in financial crisis and urgently need debt relief. The new online form will be easier to access and use than the current paper application.”
The Insolvency Service
The online service will prompt people to seek financial advice as part of the process. The new service aims to be easier than the previous method which involved completing a statement of affairs and court petition. The new process can also be done via mobile phone.
Appealing a Bankruptcy ruling
Once the application is submitted the adjudicator will decide if a Bankruptcy Order can be made. In the event it is rejected the applicant has 14 days to request a review.
If the adjudicator decides to uphold the decision not to grant a Bankruptcy Order then the debtor has 28 days to appeal this decision to the court. The court will then either grant or deny an order.
Should a Bankruptcy Order be issued the process continues as normal with the Official Receiver reviewing a debtor’s liabilities, assets and contacting creditors.
New Bankruptcy costs from April 2016
As of April 6th you’ll pay a £130 adjudicator fee. This replaces the £180 court fee. The £525 Official Receiver’s fee still applies. The new changes do mean that you will now be able to pay this in instalments. However you can only pay online with payments starting from £5.
Will this increase the number of people going Bankrupt?
“Going through the process of Bankruptcy previously could be frightening, especially as you had to attend court. With the process moving to a digital journey it may seem less daunting to someone with financial issues to go through. What is still important is that people seek the right financial advice before going through such a process as the effects of Bankruptcy to your credit record will last at least six years. While the new process will make it easier for people to consider Bankruptcy, the adjudication process should still make the right decisions when ruling that someone can go Bankrupt.”
Guy Withey, Insolvency Practitioner, Harrington Brooks
Standard Financial Statement
The new process will also use budget categories in line with the new Standard Financial Statement. This replaces the previous income and expenditure form that used the StepChange spending guidelines. Debt advisors and government resources will use the Standard Financial Statement when having to determine your disposable income.
Where can I get more information?
Before using the form we strongly recommend that you seek financial advice, even if that isn’t from us. This is because there are other alternatives to Bankruptcy that may be more suitable for your needs.
You can visit the gov.uk site for details on available options if you can’t pay off your debts.
If you’re currently worried about your finances, have unsecured debts from personal borrowing and would like to speak confidentially to an advisor who can talk to you about the benefits and considerations of a range of debt solutions and personal insolvency solutions, then please get in touch by calling 0800 048 1764. You can also visit dev.harringtonbrooks.co.uk to request a call back at a time to suit you. By requesting a call, you are under no obligation to use our services. Harrington Brooks provide solutions to customers living in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Should you choose to undertake a plan or arrangement, there may be consequences to consider, including restrictions on future expenditure, lending and on your ability to obtain further or future credit. Fees, terms and conditions apply. For further information and advice please visit dev.harringtonbrooks.co.uk.
The services that we provide may be available at no cost from other government and charity based providers. Further information can be obtained from the Money Advice Service at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/where-to-go-to-get-free-debt-advice