Personal bankruptcy applications underwent their biggest change just over one year ago.
From April 2016, personal bankruptcy applications were taken out of the courts and moved online. The online form is now submitted to an adjudicator at the Insolvency Service, rather than a judge, who will review your application and make a decision.
The new system was introduced as part of the government’s drive to transform public services, making them easier to use and saving the taxpayer money.
Whilst I believe the changes have helped to remove the stigma of going to court, which has been known to put people off applying for bankruptcy and getting themselves into deeper debt, what are the wider implications?
An online application can be made at any time of day or night. Applying for personal bankruptcy is a serious decision and it can be very costly, and sometimes impossible, to turn the decision around.
Although it is now an online application, it is still a court procedure and all of your assets will automatically vest in the Trustee in Bankruptcy (including the family home). A decision made in the evening after a glass or two of wine may not seem like such a good idea in the cold light of day.
Are individuals are getting sufficient professional advice and considering the alternatives before making such an important decision?
If you are having financial difficulties and you are considering bankruptcy, contact us first for a free consultation. We can assist you with understanding the implications to you and your family, and discuss the other options that may be available to you.