I have been served with Bankruptcy Proceedings. What should I do?

21 May 2012

A Bankruptcy Order can be made even if you refuse to acknowledge the proceedings or to agree to them. You should therefore co-operate fully once the proceedings have begun.

A Bankruptcy Order can be made even if you refuse to acknowledge the proceedings or to agree to them. You should therefore co-operate fully once the proceedings have begun. If you dispute the creditor’s claim, you should try and reach a settlement before the bankruptcy petition is due to be heard. Trying to do so after an order is made can prove difficult and expensive.

If an Order is made against you, an Official Receiver will be appointed to your case and will be responsible for administering your bankruptcy, protecting your assets and to act as a Trustee of your bankruptcy estate. Note that if a bankruptcy order has been made against you, your creditors can no longer pursue you for payment.

Once you are made bankrupt, you will no longer be able to:

·Use your bank/building society account or credit card

·Obtain credit for over £500.00

·Trade in any business under any other name

·Promote, form or manage a Limited company

·Be the trustee of a charity or pension fund.

You must pay continuing commitments such as rent, together with any debts you incur after the bankruptcy. If you own your home, your interest in same will form part of your estate which will be dealt with by your trustee. Be prepared for the fact that your home may have to be sold to go towards paying your debts.

You will automatically be freed from bankruptcy after a maximum period of twelve months, however this may be prolonged if the Official Receiver allocated to your case indicates to the Court that he believes you to have been dishonest or that you are otherwise to blame for your position.

If proceedings have been issued against you, seek financial and legal advice where possible, from both a qualified accountant and an insolvency legal practitioner. If you would like further advice on these matters, contact Worthingtons Solicitors, we would be glad to offer our assistance and discuss any concerns with you.

Huw Worthington is the Senior Partner in Worthingtons Solicitors and provides advice on a wide range of legal issues.

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