Guide

Declaring bankruptcy or being made bankrupt

Last updated: 30 September 2017

When does bankruptcy end?

Your bankruptcy generally ends when you're 'discharged'. This is usually 12 months after the sheriff court made you bankrupt. It can be longer if you break the bankruptcy restrictions or don't co-operate with your trustee.

You can check your discharge date online using the Register of Insolvencies.

Proof of discharge

Discharge is usually automatic — you won't be sent a letter. You can ask the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) for a certificate of discharge, you have to pay £11 (no waivers) for this.

From 1 April 2015, you won't automatically receive your discharge. The trustee will produce a report confirming whether you should be discharged or not.

After you have been discharged

Once you've been discharged, the bankruptcy won't be finished until the trustee has finished their duties. You should co-operate with the trustee until they're discharged. You'll be notified of the trustee's application for discharge.

Your credit file

Credit reference agencies usually hold information about a bankruptcy for 6 years from when the bankruptcy was granted.

It's your responsibility to update your credit file.

You'll also remain on the Register of Insolvencies until 2 years after your trustee has completed their duties.

Cancel a bankruptcy

A bankruptcy can end sooner than normal if:

  • you petition the sheriff to show that bankruptcy should not have been awarded, for example, if you were able to pay your debts, known as a recall of bankruptcy
  • the creditors agree to accept payment or part payment for the debts owed to them, known as an Offer of composition
Declaring bankruptcy or being made bankrupt
When does bankruptcy end?