Is it possible for my bankruptcy to be cancelled?


When you correspond with a court to apply for bankruptcy, for instance, you are ‘petitioning the court’. The petition is a formal request for the court to carry out a service on your behalf.

If you are attempting to petition the court to cancel your bankruptcy, you are strongly advised to seek legal advice and ensure that you do not make any mistakes which could add further delays to the organisation of your finances.

How does bankruptcy work?

Bankruptcy is a court order issued following a petition either by a debtor themselves or by a creditor owed more than £750. The effects of a bankruptcy order are numerous, but principally the order removes responsibility for discharging debts from the debtor themselves, and hands it to a trustee known as the Official Receiver.

The Official Receiver administers the financial affairs of the bankrupt realising any assets and settling as much outstanding debt as possible. Bankruptcy orders are usually discharged after 12 months, at which point any outstanding debts are written off.

It is also possible to have your bankruptcy order annulled in court if you wish the order to come to an end and be removed from your record.

How to apply for annulment

You can only apply for an annulment if you believe:

  • The bankruptcy order should not have been made
  • You have settled all outstanding debts (or at least have them guaranteed to the satisfaction of the court)
  • You have made an Individual Voluntary Arrangement with your creditors

If you believe you have a case for annulment you should contact your solicitor for legal advice immediately. They will be able to prepare the necessary court papers to get the ball rolling.

You should still keep up any appointments with the Official Receiver if you have any, as the bankruptcy will continue as normal until an annulment is awarded by the court itself.

If you wish to avoid the bankruptcy being advertised you must act quickly. Your solicitor may be able to obtain a stay of advertisement from the court, which will delay publication of your status as a bankrupt until after your annulment hearing.

You must inform your Official Receiver of your intention to apply for an annulment, as they are obliged to advertise your bankruptcy.

The effect of an annulment is to return you to your pre-bankruptcy status. Any disposal of property that may have taken place however cannot be reversed so it is important to act quickly.

Need to annul your bankruptcy as soon as possible? Contact Law can put you in touch with a solicitor specialising in making applications to the court to cancel your bankruptcy. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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