Guide

Declaring bankruptcy or being made bankrupt

Last updated: 21 November 2017

Assets

You can usually keep:

  • items needed for your job, like tools, books or a vehicle
  • household items, like furniture

You may have to give these items up if they cost more than a reasonable replacement.

Bank accounts

You may be allowed to keep a bank account for general purposes, like wages being paid or for living costs.

Freezing the account

Your account would only be frozen if:

  • you have excessive funds in the account which could be accessed by the trustee
  • you haven't been cooperating

A trustee would have an interest in your private pension.

The account may be frozen or closed by the bank – this is at the discretion of the bank.

Your home

Your trustee can sell your home if this is the only way to pay your debts.

If you or your partner don't agree to the sale of your home, the trustee can apply to the sheriff court for an order of sale.

The court has the choice of:

  • granting an order to allow the sale
  • refusing to grant an order
  • delaying the granting of an order for up to 3 years to allow you and your partner to find somewhere else to live

Joint owners

If you own your home jointly with someone else, the trustee can only take the bankrupt's share of the property equity. The joint owner, family or friends can buy your share of the property.

Legal action can be taken to sell a jointly owned property, even if the non-bankrupt joint owner disagrees.

Local councils don't treat bankrupts as intentionally homeless if the trustee sells your home. National Debtline Scotland can give you advice.

You can call National Debtline Scotland on 0808 808 4000.

Rented property

If you live in rented property, check your tenancy agreement to see if bankruptcy affects your situation. Your landlord may be told that you're bankrupt.

Declaring bankruptcy or being made bankrupt
Assets