Make yourself bankrupt

How the High Court can deal with your bankruptcy petition


At your bankruptcy hearing the High Court has the following options.

Stay or delay the proceedings

The Court may choose this option if it needs further information before it can decide whether to make a bankruptcy order.

Dismiss the petition

This might be because they feel that an administration order would be more appropriate.

Bankruptcy order

If the Court makes a bankruptcy order, you will become bankrupt the moment the order is made. To find out what effect the bankruptcy order will have and the restrictions it places on you, see bankruptcy.

The official receiver's role in bankruptcy

The Official Receiver (OR) is part of The Insolvency Service (a branch within the Department for the Economy) - and is also an officer of the Court. The OR will be responsible for administering your bankruptcy specifically to find out how and why you became insolvent.

The OR will:

  • Protect your assets from the date of the bankruptcy order.
  • Inform your creditors that you have been declared bankrupt - by placing a notice of the bankruptcy in the Belfast Gazette and the Belfast Telegraph and by sending a report to creditors which will let them know the causes of the bankruptcy and if they will get their money back.
  • Act as your trustee in bankruptcy - unless the Court, a meeting of creditors or the Department for the Economy appoints an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) to take this role. The Court may appoint an IP at the bankruptcy hearing if the terms of an Individual Involuntary Arrangement (IVA) have failed. The trustee in bankruptcy is responsible for dealing with your debts incurred before the date of your bankruptcy.
  • The Official Receiver must also report to the Court any matters which indicate that you may have committed criminal offences in connection with your bankruptcy.
Developed with:
  • Department for the Economy