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26/02/2018

Bankruptcy, the Insolvency Register and Credit Report

26/02/2018

Bankruptcy, the Insolvency Register and Credit Report

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What is the bankruptcy register?

This is a commonly used term for the place where all bankruptcies are recorded and updated. There is no specific register for bankruptcies however, as they are actually recorded on the Individual Insolvency Register, which is run by the Insolvency Service.

This is a public register, which means it can be viewed by anyone who goes looking for it. It’s designed to help landlords, lenders or employers to wish to check if someone is in an active bankruptcy and to make the general public aware that someone is bankrupt.

If you have a record on the register, it will hold your name, address, date of birth, gender and occupation. It will also hold details of your bankruptcy itself such as when it was approved, when it will end and who your Insolvency Practitioner (IP) is.

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What is bankruptcy court?

Bankruptcy is legally binding, which means that there is a court hearing in order for it to be declared – however, it’s no longer required that you attend this. Nowadays your case will instead be evaluated and then you will be sent an update to let you now if it has been successful or not.

What the term ‘bankruptcy court’ can actually refer to is a court that’s locate in London that deals with ‘high value cases’. This is essentially cases where a company is petitioning to make someone bankrupt.

You can also be taken to bankruptcy court if you owe more than £50k in debt and live in London. But in all other cases this will normally be handled by your local county court.

The Bankrupty Register Process

Once you have been declared bankrupt, the official receiver is responsible for entering your details on to the register.

This will include all the information mentioned above, which will allow anyone who is looking for it to find out any details of someone’s bankruptcy.

It is then down to the Secretary of State to delete all the information three months after a person has been discharged or a bankruptcy has been annulled.

How do you find out if someone has declared bankruptcy?

The easiest way to do this is to check the Individual Insolvency Register. You can do this by simply searching for their name or company name.

You’ll be able to find all the details mentioned above for anyone in an active bankruptcy or has been discharged in the past three months.

However, this information will have already been sent to anyone who has the right to know you have been declared bankrupt.

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How long do you stay on the bankruptcy register?

Your details will be noted on the bankruptcy register until three months after you have been discharged or it gets annulled.

However, a note of your bankruptcy will show on your credit report for six years, which will affect your credit score and make it difficult to obtain credit.

Are bankruptcies on the public record?

Since the register is available to the public, then yes, they are technically on the public record. However, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to find.

It’s very unlikely that the Insolvency Service will publish your details to your local papers. This will only usually be done in cases where assets have been hidden or someone isn’t working with the official receiver.

However, if you are made bankrupt in Northern Ireland, then it will be published in the Belfast Telegraph on top of being recorded on the register.

Where are bankruptcies published? 

They are published on the Individual Insolvency Register and the Gazette. This is essentially a newspaper record of all bankruptcies that’s available online.

There are also three versions of the Gazette printed each week in Belfast, London and Edinburgh. It shows the same details as the register, but you can request for your address to be hidden if it will put your safety at risk.

You cannot stop your details being published in the Gazette and it will remain on their records forever. However, it’s unlikely that anyone would ever find this without purposely looking and creditors never refer to it when determining whether to give your credit or not.

Your Credit Report

Your bankruptcy is listed on the Insolvency Register for six years. This means that it affects your credit report, and lowers your credit score, for six years. However, bankruptcy itself lasts 12 months and after this time the debts included in your bankruptcy are officially written off.

At this point, they should have zero balances on your credit report, and this is the first step in improving your credit score.

Your credit report won’t improve overnight. It takes time to prove to credit agencies that you have successfully achieved financial stability. This makes it necessary to work at your credit report to make yourself appear as financially responsible and stable as possible.

This might involve responsible use of a credit card, where you pay off your balance before interest is added, but other methods such as joining the electoral roll can also improve your credit score.

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