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How can I apply for bankruptcy in Scotland?

Sharon McDougall - Updated - 4th August 2023 - 2 minutes to read

If you want to declare yourself bankrupt in Scotland, this is done through a process known as Sequestration. If you’re in serious debt with no hope of repaying your unsecured creditors, you don’t have to wait for a creditor to take legal action against you. You may be able to take matters into your own hands and apply for sequestration (bankruptcy in Scotland) to prevent your situation from worsening and allow to you move on from your current problems.

There are two ways you can apply for your own bankruptcy using the sequestration process in Scotland:

In both cases an approved money adviser or licensed insolvency practitioner (IP) should assess whether or not you’re eligible for bankruptcy, and help you complete the sequestration process.

When completing the bankruptcy form, you’ll need detailed information about your finances, and will have to submit documents in support of your application.

How to apply for bankruptcy via sequestration?

The application form for your bankruptcy can be completed and submitted online, which considerably speeds up the sequestration process, but if you prefer you can print off or request a paper copy.

A Debtor Bankruptcy Application Pack is available from the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) website, with the application fee for full administration being £150. If you’re eligible for the Minimal Asset Process, the fee is reduced to £50. You may not need to pay these fees if you are in receipt of certain state benefits.

How can I complete the sequestration form for bankruptcy?

Certain sections of the application form relate only to the Minimal Asset Process. Should you declare that you meet the MAP criteria but are later found to be ineligible, you’ll have to use the ‘standard’ bankruptcy process and pay an additional application fee.

If you don’t meet the conditions for entering MAP bankruptcy, your money adviser or insolvency practitioner will issue a certificate of sequestration. This is valid for 30 days, and must be submitted with your application form and sequestration fee to the Accountant in Bankruptcy.

What happens if bankruptcy is approved?

Once the Accountant in Bankruptcy has received an application they usually reply within five working days, but this can be longer if any information or the required documentation hasn’t been provided.

When the application is approved, your assets pass to the control of your trustee whose role it is to sell them for the benefit of your creditors. The trustee must be a licensed insolvency practitioner, and you can enter their details on the application form.

Although you may be discharged from sequestration after 12 months (six months for MAP bankruptcy), the trustee will continue with the process of realising your assets and distributing the proceeds to creditors.

You’ll need to cooperate with the trustee throughout this procedure, so your obligations under sequestration don’t generally end when you’re discharged, unless the administration of your bankruptcy is minimal.

For more information on applying for your own bankruptcy in Scotland, and for assistance in completing the process, call our licensed insolvency practitioners at Scotland Debt Solutions. We specialise in helping Scottish residents to escape debt, and can offer a free same-day meeting to establish your needs.

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Sharon McDougall


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