True Stories is a new feature on the Debt Support Trust blog. We often speak to people who have misconceptions about debt and the misunderstanding can cause fear and worry. So, we've created our true stories section for common questions we hear at Debt Support Trust, in case other people are worried about the same problems. We never reveal personal details about anyone we help.
True Stories: "I don't have to pay anything if I go bankrupt"
Bankruptcy is associated with people who cannot afford to pay their debt, but it's a misunderstood debt solution because people believe that when you're bankrupt that the debt is "wiped off", you don't have to pay anything and your credit file is damaged.
Most of this is true. The debt you cannot afford to repay will be cleared and your credit file will be damaged for 6 years from the date your default is added. However, you will have to pay something towards the cost of your bankruptcy.
Cost of Bankruptcy
There is a fee to enter bankruptcy depending on the type of solution you are entering. If you are entering a Debt Relief Order then the fee would be £90. The cost for traditional bankruptcy is £700. If you don't qualify for the Debt Relief Order but are unemployed or in receipt of benefits then your fee could be reduced to £525.
The fees are charged as standard to process your application and if necessary, will include a court fee.
Income Payment Order
If you do not qualify for the Debt Relief Order and have entered bankruptcy through a court, then your official receiver in bankruptcy will be in touch shortly after your court date. They will review your finances and determine if you have any spare money each month.
If the official receiver believes you can contribute towards you bankruptcy then you will be asked to do so for three years. State benefits will not be taken into account when assessing how much you should pay towards your bankruptcy.
If you are required to make a payment towards your bankruptcy then this will be reviewed frequently to ensure the payment is still affordable. If you earn extra money, or have a drop in income, you should inform the official receiver immediately.
Bankruptcy can only last for one year before you are discharged however the income payment order will be in place for three years.
If you come into money during the course of your bankruptcy you will be required to pay this towards the official receiver. You will be allowed to keep any money which is leftover after the unsecured debt, along with bankruptcy fees and charges, have been repaid.
Is Bankruptcy the best debt solution for me?
If you are wondering if bankruptcy is the best debt solution for you then contact Debt Support Trust. We are a registered debt advice charity helping people with telephone and internet based debt advice. You can telephone Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226.