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Changes to the bankruptcy application process: what you need to know

Dear <<First Name>>

The bankruptcy application process and fee were changed today, 6 April 2016.

If you are in the process of, or are thinking about, applying for bankruptcy, the headings below provide an overview of these changes and how they might affect you. The Insolvency Service's guidance has been updated to take these changes into effect.

How the process has changed
Previously all bankruptcy applications had to be submitted to the court and looked at by a judge. On 06 April 2016, the application process for people wishing to make themselves bankrupt moved online and out of the courts. This means that you now have to fill in your bankruptcy application online rather than using a paper form and you no longer have to go to court.

Instead, you submit your completed application electronically to an adjudicator who makes a decision about your application.

Creditors' Petitions
The process for making someone else bankrupt remains unchanged.

About the adjudicator
The adjudicator isn’t a judge. They are government officials who work for the Insolvency Service, and their role is to review and make decisions about individuals’ bankruptcy applications.

Changes to the fee
On 06 April 2016 the fee changed from £705 to £655:
  • £130 for considering your application
  • £525 for managing your bankruptcy
For the first time you can now also pay your fee online and in instalments.

Starting an online bankruptcy application
To start an online application, visit

Help using the online form
The only way to apply for bankruptcy in England and Wales from 06 April is using the online form. If you don’t have access to a computer or don’t feel comfortable using one, you can get help from friends and family. You can also get free help and advice from a debt adviser or from the Insolvency Service Enquiry Line.

Paper applications started before 05 April 2016
If you’ve started a paper bankruptcy application and haven’t already submitted it to the court you will have to start again using the new online application.

If you submitted your paperwork and fee to the court before 06 April, the court will continue dealing with your bankruptcy application. This will be the case even if your hearing isn’t scheduled until after 05 April.

Read the Insolvency Service announcement here.

Please call us on 020 8418 9333 or email if you would like any further information or advice.
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ThorntonRones is a specialist insolvency practice experienced in advising on both corporate and personal scenarios.  The principal of ThorntonRones, Richard Rones, is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, a Fellow of R3 and a Fellow of the ICAEW. 

Richard has extensive experience in the SME market that includes trading as ThorntonRones Insolvency Practitioners since 1999. He and his staff fully understand the difficult pressures faced by anyone running their own business and relish the opportunity to be of assistance.

We look forward to taking care of you.
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