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How bankruptcy can affect you

You must follow bankruptcy rules by law.

But there are other ways bankruptcy can affect you.

Bank account

Credit reference agencies give banks a daily list of all new bankruptcies.

Depending on the bank's rules, they may tell you to:

  • switch to a different type of account 
  • close your account  - you'll need to find another bank

Read more about bank accounts from Citizens Advice Scotland.

You should contact your money adviser if you’ve problems setting up a new bank account. 

Freezing your account

If you go bankrupt your bank may freeze your account and you may not be able to withdraw money.

If this happens you need to contact your bank. You may need to give proof of your bankruptcy. This is usually your bankruptcy award letter.

You should also keep money for essential living costs when you apply in case this happens.

Credit file

Bankruptcy can stay on your credit file for at least 6 years. 

Read more about credit rating from Citizen Advice Scotland.

Applying for credit

Bankruptcy can make it difficult to apply for credit.

There's also the rules you must follow by law. You must tell the lender you're bankrupt if you borrow:

  • over £2,000 
  • any amount if you owe £1,000 or more in other debts


Going bankrupt may affect you doing and applying for some jobs. For example, an accountant or solicitor. 

There's also rules you must follow by law.  If you're bankrupt you cannot:

  • be a director of a company
  • be a Justice of the Peace
  • be an MP
  • create, manage or promote a company
  • work as an insolvency practitioner

This is not a complete list of how bankruptcy can affect work. You should ask your trustee for full details.

Power of attorney

You cannot act as a power of attorney for someone if you're bankrupt. 

The power of attorney will be 'revoked' (cancelled) if you go bankrupt. 

Gas and electricity 

Gas and electricity providers may change your payment method. For example, they may put you on a prepayment meter.

Register of Insolvencies

Every bankruptcy is recorded on the Register of Insolvencies. This is also known as the 'Bankruptcy Register'.

Anyone can search the register for free.

Details stay on the register for at least 5 years from the date of bankruptcy.

Minimal Asset Process (MAP)

For MAP, details stay on the register for 18 months from the date of bankruptcy.

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