Defending Bankruptcy

We can help you if you are at threat of being declared bankrupt as we are expert solicitors in defending bankruptcy.

We are specialists in providing expert bankruptcy advice and can help you with:

  • Setting aside statutory demands
  • Defending bankruptcy petitions
  • Negotiating with your creditors
  • Negotiating with the HMRC and entering into Time to Pay Arrangements.

Statutory Demands

We specialise in setting aside statutory demands.

If you do not pay or secure the debt within 21 days, then your creditor can present a bankruptcy petition against you to bankrupt you.

You have 18 days to set aside the statutory demand. We can help you challenge a statutory demand.

Bankruptcy Petitions

We specialise in defending bankruptcy petitions, a large number of which are presented by the HMRC.

If you do not respond to a statutory demand the creditor may serve you with a bankruptcy petition. A bankruptcy petition must be served on you by hand, i.e. personal service and you must be given 14 days’ notice of the bankruptcy hearing.

We can help you dispute the debt and defend bankruptcy.

The Bankruptcy Hearing

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your creditors, we can represent you at your bankruptcy hearing.

We can help you by adjourning your bankruptcy hearing and provide you with specialist bankruptcy advice and solutions.

Contact Us

For an initial free, no obligation, discussion to see as to whether we are best placed to help by either calling us on 0207 889 0100 or emailing us at enquiries@westlondonlaw.co.uk and we’ll promptly call you back and assess the situation.


The following banks allow bankrupts to operate accounts:

We are unable to provide specific advice on which account may be best to operate.

You will be able to own any property you acquire after having obtained a discharge of your bankruptcy, i.e. after one year of your bankruptcy, providing that the source of funds (deposit monies) do not flow from any assets belonging to your “Bankruptcy Estate”. Your bankruptcy estate comprises of all of your assets which you owned at the date of the bankruptcy order being made against you as these pass to the Official Receiver or your Trustee in bankruptcy.

What property does the bankrupt not lose?

  • The bankrupt is entitled to keep hold of all tools, books, vehicles and other items of equipment that are necessary for the bankrupt’s personal use in his business, vacation or employment.
  • All clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions that are necessary for the basic domestic needs of the bankrupt and his family.

The main alternatives to bankruptcy are entering into deals with creditors, also known as debt management plans or informal arrangements. An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) known as a formal arrangement, may also be an option.

When a person is made bankrupt, his assets pass to the Official Receiver/Trustee in Bankruptcy. This will not affect the ownership of any co-owner, such as a spouse, however they will be unable to sell the property without the Trustee’s permission.

The Official Receiver or Trustee will not sell the family home during the first year of the bankruptcy and have three years from the date of the bankruptcy order to make an application to sell the home. Should the Trustee not make an application in this three year period, the property will revert back to the bankrupt. However, this three year rule only applies to the family home.

Bankruptcy normally lasts for one year, although the Official Receiver or Trustee can extend this period if the bankrupt is seen not to be cooperating by the Official Receiver or Trustee making an application to suspend the discharge. This is usually done by the Official Receiver or Trustee obtaining a Bankruptcy Restriction Order, postponing the bankrupt from obtaining his discharge. You can check whether you have been automatically discharged by checking the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR) .

Whilst the Insolvency Service will notify credit agencies of your discharge from bankruptcy, notice of your bankruptcy will stay on your file for a minimum of 6 years from the date of the bankruptcy order. However, your credit score starts to improve from the point the credit agencies receive notification that your bankruptcy has been discharged.

After the court makes a bankruptcy order, the bankrupt is required to attend the Official Receiver to complete a questionnaire (Preliminary Information Questionnaire). This booklet asks for a bankrupt to set out his income, assets and liabilities. The Official Receiver usually records the interview and then decides whether to appoint a Trustee in Bankruptcy to sell assets to pay creditors.

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