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Debtors' Bankruptcy Fees Fall

The Insolvency Service has announced that the fee for individuals applying for bankruptcy is to fall by £50 to £130. So, from April 2016, it will cost £655 to apply for bankruptcy, down from £705. The other £525 is a government deposit.

This is part of the switch from the court making bankruptcy orders (following a debtor’s petition) to an adjudicator-led process (as introduced by Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013).

It’s very good news that the government is cutting its up-front fees. They can be a real obstacle to people getting the help they need with problem debts.

There is, however, one thing that takes the shine off the announcement. 

While the fee and deposit will be able to be paid in instalments for the first time, bankruptcy orders can still only be made once the fee and deposit are paid in full.

As R3 has repeatedly argued, the fees should be payable in instalments over the course of the bankruptcy, allowing heavily indebted people to benefit from the protections and debt relief offered by bankruptcy as quickly as possible. Finding enough spare cash for a £600-odd fee and deposit can be tricky even for people without unsustainable debts.

It will be interesting to see how much of an impact these changes have on bankruptcy numbers (if any) after April. 

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.