From 6 April, individuals applying to make themselves bankrupt will no longer need to apply to court. The new process will see them complete an online application. The applications will be assessed and approved by an Adjudicator employed by the Insolvency Service.
The online applications will be less expensive and they will also be able to pay in instalments.
The Insolvency Service Chief Executive, Sarah Albon, explained “seeking help to deal with problem personal debt is the key step to being able to move forward”. The government are looking to improve the methods for individuals looking to resolve their personal problem debt. They also hope that the online method will remove the perceived stigma of going to court. Often this is one of the main reasons people do not apply.
The introduction of online applications is part of a wider plan to make public services easier to use and save the taxpayer money. At present, the application fee for a personal bankruptcy application is £180; the online applications will cost £130 and, if necessary, can be paid in instalments using a debit card.
Creditor petitions, where an individual or a business is owed money and is seeking to have someone declared bankrupt, will continue to apply to a Court Registrar as currently.