If you are an individual, including a member of a partnership, Bankruptcy is one way of dealing with debts you cannot pay.
Bankruptcy divests you of overwhelming debts thus allowing you to make a fresh start, subject to some restrictions relating to obtaining credit, trading under a name other than that in which you were made bankrupt, acting as a director or taking part in the management of a limited company and holding public office.
The bankrupt is discharged from the bankruptcy automatically one year after the commencement of the bankruptcy however this period can be extended on application to the Court where the bankrupt fails to comply with his obligations. The Official Receiver may apply to Court for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order or seek a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking usually as a result of misconduct by the bankrupt.
Your assets such as solely or jointly owned property, vehicles, savings, shares etc. are realised and the proceeds distributed to your creditors. After acquired assets may also be claimed i.e. those which are acquired by or devolve on the debtor before discharge. Preference payments and transactions at an undervalue and other antecedent transactions may also be overturned.
In addition, your income and expenditure will be reviewed and any surplus after the essential costs of living may be taken into account. The surplus income, or a percentage of it, may be paid into the bankruptcy for a period of 36 months for the benefit of your creditors.
There is an alternative to Bankruptcy, which is known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement which can help you keep control of and protect assets that are ultimately at risk in Bankruptcy.