Bankruptcy should be used only as a last resort. Make sure you understand the implications of being bankrupt.


A legal declaration of your inability to repay your debts, once you apply to the courts, all collection efforts against you stops. You are not allowed to take on any new debts, and the court will freeze your assets.  If your unsecured debts are less than £20,000 you will generally be discharged from bankruptcy after 2 years or 3 years.


Obtain forms from Combined Courts Hall, file the forms with the local court, this is at a cost. Instead of becoming bankrupt you might want to consider an administration order or an individual voluntary agreements.


If one or more of your creditors has obtained a court judgement against you, the county court may make an administration order. Administration is a court- based procedure whereby you make regular payments to the court to pay towards what you owe creditors. Your total debts must not be more than £5,000 and you will need enough regular income to make weekly or monthly payments. You do not have to pay a fee for an administration order but the court will take a small percentage from the money you pay toward costs. If you do not pay regularly, the order could be cancelled and you may become subject to the same restrictions as someone who is bankrupt. If your circumstances change and you cannot pay as ordered, you can apply to the court to change the order. The court, which made the order, will tell you what to do. Details of administration orders are available at your local county court.

National Numbers

Step Change

0800 138 1111

Job Centre

Free advice on debt based on what’s best for you – 0800 138 1111


0808 802 2000

Regional Numbers


Citizen advise bureau – 01482 224608

Council – 01482 300300


Citizen advise bureau – 01582 486632

Council – 01582 546000


Citizen advise bureau – 0844 826 9713

Council – 01942 244991

Free advice on debt based on what’s best for you – 0800 138 1111