Bankruptcy - How to apply?

With your financial condition at its worst, take time and expert help to analyse your position and the possible steps that can be taken to resolve issues. In case, bankruptcy is the only positive way of tackling your debt issues then it is time your hone your knowledge about the procedures and various processes involved in applying for bankruptcy. You need to be aware of the petitions to be filed, the fees to be paid and the activities that follows your bankruptcy declaration to smooth out this process in the right way.

Where does it start?
As a first step you need to be aware as to when and who can apply for bankruptcy. You can only be declared by the court by means of a bankruptcy order, but for the court to issue the order either you or one of your creditors should submit a bankruptcy petition. So the bankruptcy petition is where it all starts from.
Bankruptcy laws and help

The procedure and process followed in Northern Ireland and Scotland differs a lot from that in England. So it is advisable that you analyse your region’s law before you can proceed to filing your petition. Also any kind of expert help or advice will be a wise choice as it can act as a guide to back your option of declaring bankruptcy. There are many organizations who provide free and unbiased advice on these issues.

Finding a Bankruptcy Court
The petition needs to be filed in a court that is nearer to your residence where you have stayed for longer duration in the last 6 months. So it is a must you find out the court in your locality where you can file your petition. Also confirm that the court deals with bankruptcy cases as not all deals with such cases.
Filling in your Bankruptcy Petition
When we say filling of petition, it refers to filling up of forms and making necessary arrangement before submitting it in the court for approval and processing. The bankruptcy forms that are required to be submitted are the Debtor’s bankruptcy petition and the Statement of affairs petition.
You can obtain these forms either by downloading them from the Insolvency service website or by getting from your local county court. For any queries or clarifications, you can get in touch with the Insolvency Service helpline anytime between 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. As a highlighted mode of information, your Debtor’s petition will contain the reason for your bankruptcy and the statement of affairs petition will contain details of all assets and debts and creditor’s details.

Once you have obtained the forms, take care to furnish exact details to the best of your knowledge. You also need to get two additional copies of the form for submission in the court. The signature at the end of the form needs to be signed in the court in the presence of a witness and hence you might leave this blank during your documentation completion process. In case of any help required, you can always contact an independent advisor during the documentation process. The advisor might provide your free advice or even charge you for his services.

Paying the fees for your petition
The court fee for bankruptcy is one mandatory step without with the court will not accept your petition. The charges are about £600 which needs to be paid with by cash or postal orders or by bank, solicitor’s cheque payable to the court service. The court does not accept cheques made on a personal level. The fees need to be paid on the date of appointment for your bankruptcy to the court clerk when submitting the documents for petition. The £600 court fee can be further reduced to £450 in case you are receiving any benefits from the state. The court authorities or the insolvency service guides can help you to figure out your eligibility. Sometime you can also receive help from charities to pay the fees for your bankruptcy petition.

Court Procedures
So now that the documents have been filled and the fees paid, the next step is to file your petition in court. For this, you need chose a convenient date to book an appointment in some cases depending on the court mode of operations. Be ready with all required documents and the money for fees and try to be present as early as possible to finish all your formalities the same day.

After paying the fees and document verification, you might be asked to meet the appointed person or judge who handles bankruptcy cases. Your bankruptcy case will be normally conducted in a closed court. The judge might accept your petition and issue a bankruptcy order or delay due to want of more details. Sometimes he might even reject your petition asking you to consider alternate modes for your debt problems.

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