13 April 2016: On 6 April 2016, the application process for people wishing to declare themselves bankrupt moved online and out of the courts. Previously, all bankruptcy applications had to be submitted to the court and considered by a judge.
Now, an individual wishing to make themselves bankrupt must fill out a bankruptcy application online rather than using a paper form and the individual no longer has to attend at court. A debtor's electronic bankruptcy application will then be considered by an adjudicator (an employee of the Insolvency Service and not a judge), who makes the decision on the application.
The costs of a debtor's bankruptcy petition have also reduced from £705 to £655, made up as follows:-
- £130 for the adjudicator to consider the debtor's application; and
- £525 to manage the bankruptcy.
The procedure that a creditor must follow to make someone bankrupt has not changed nor have the costs been revised. The total court fees, payable by the creditor presenting a bankruptcy petition, remain at £1,105 (£280 courts costs and £825 petition deposit). The above changes to the debtor's petition procedure follow the increase in the minimum debt required for a creditor to present a bankruptcy petition from £750 to £5,000 on 1 October 2015.
Whether you therefore consider the current bankruptcy regime makes it easy or hard for an individual to be declared bankrupt will very much depend on whether you are a debtor or a creditor…
Should you have any queries relating to the bankruptcy process, whether you are a debtor, a creditor or acting on behalf of a client, please do not hesitate to contact any of the BRI management team for confidential, impartial and no obligation advice.