Is bankruptcy public record?
There is still a lot of stigma around bankruptcy. However, for many people, it may be the only viable option to remove their debts and move on with their lives. Many people are worried about their friends, family or work colleagues discovering that they have been made bankrupt when really this is not the case, unless you decide to tell them.
Will your bankruptcy be public record?
Yes, every bankruptcy that is created is listed in a public database for people to access. However, it’s very unlikely your friends or family will ever stumble across your bankruptcy listing – instead, it is likely to only be creditors who you have made applications with who are actively searching for your details.
Bankruptcies are listed on the Insolvency Register – also referred to as the Bankruptcy Register. This online register lists every case of insolvency in England and Wales, including IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements) and DROs (Debt Relief Orders). If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland there are different registers used.
The following information will be included in your bankruptcy listing:
- Your name.
- Your address.
- Date of the bankruptcy order.
- Your occupation.
- Details for your assigned official receiver.
- Anyone can gain access to the register but the only people likely to be using it will be creditors.
Are bankruptcies listed in your local newspaper?
No, it’s very unlikely that a bankruptcy will be featured in your local newspaper. It will, however, be advertised in the financial paper the Gazette. This is a specialist newspaper that only publishes legal notices and keeps a record of bankruptcies, therefore it’s very unlikely anyone you know would be accessing it.
What if you don’t want to have your bankruptcy listed?
If you believe you or your family are at risk of violence if your bankruptcy is made public, then you can fill in a 7.1A form. This then involves attending a court hearing to explain your situation and prevent the bankruptcy from being made public. However, you cannot simply ask that your bankruptcy is not advertised, as it is a legal requirement.
Will your bankruptcy listing be there forever?
No, after a certain amount of time your bankruptcy will be taken off. Once you have been discharged, your listing will be removed from the register after three months.
After six years, your bankruptcy will also drop off your credit report and this will allow your credit rating to further improve. However, you may still have to disclose that you have been bankrupt in the future if a creditor asks you directly.
If bankruptcy is the best option for you but you’re worried about it being a matter of public record, don’t be. It can still remain a very private matter if you wish it to. However, we are sure your friends and family will be more than supportive if you tell them.
If you want to speak to an expert about your situation, our team is on hand six days a week to answer any questions you may have about bankruptcy. Call 0800 280 2816 or complete our contact form for a callback.