From 6 April 2016 individuals wishing to enter into bankruptcy as a means of dealing with debt will have to apply online for a bankruptcy order to be made.
Currently a debtor has had to lodge a petition with the Court for a bankruptcy order to be made and the move to online applications is intended to improve access and speed to bankruptcy as a remedy for those individuals in financial distress. It has also been shown that individuals are intimidated by the idea of having to apply to Court and therefore it is expected that the new system will help to encourage individuals to seek help and advice on their financial affairs at an early stage.
The online application for a bankruptcy order will require the individual to provide full information in their application which will be determined by an Adjudicator. The Adjudicator will be a representative of The Insolvency Service (an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). The Adjudicator has to determine whether or not to make a bankruptcy order within a period of 28 days from the date of the application.
The fee for the application will be £655 and this is paid to The Insolvency Service. It is understood that there will be a provision for individuals to be able to pay this by instalments in advance of the application.
Creditors wishing to apply to make someone bankrupt will still have to petition the Court.
The Government will also be providing information on the different options available to individuals in financial difficulties on their website. It is vitally important for individuals to be able to consider all of the options available and to decide which is appropriate for their circumstances. For some, bankruptcy may be the best option but for others an Individual Voluntary Arrangement may be the preferred route.
We have an experienced and award winning team that has advised and acted on a wide range of personal insolvency scenarios and can advise on the options available and assist in finding the right solution. Please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial discussion and to discover how we can assist you or your clients.