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Being served with a bankruptcy petition can be very frightening. Our team can help reduce your stress levels and help reach a successful outcome. Whether it is an HMRC petition or another creditor claiming money - we can help today.

How to defend a Bankruptcy Petition

It is possible to defend a bankruptcy petition – but quick action is always recommended. Take too long and it could be too late. Let our highly experienced team help you today.

At Francis Wilks and Jones, we understand that being served with a bankruptcy petition and realising that the problem is not going to go away is very stressful, which is why we aim to take away as much of that burden as we can.

Take early advice – it’s crucial!

If an individual wishes to defend a bankruptcy petition, it is vital that they take early advice, whatever stage of the proceedings.

  • The longer a petition is not dealt with, the worse the position can become.
  • However – legal advice (whatever the stage) can often make the difference between going bankrupt or finding another solution.

It is important to remember that bankruptcy petitions must be served by handing them to the individual.

What can you do?

When a bankruptcy petition is served it is important to remember you still have choices available to you to.

  • It is likely that you are already trying to sort out the debt either by raising finance, trying to agree instalment payments or trying to sell property.
  • You will discover that if you are in the middle of selling property and a bankruptcy petition is presented that without expert help, you are unable to sell.
  • You may also have genuine complaints about the amount being claimed on the Bankruptcy Petition.

Bankruptcy Petitions can be defended

For example if it can be show that:-

  • the debt is substantially disputed;
  • you have already paid;
  • the claimant owes you more money than they are claiming or you have a counter claim;
  • there are procedural defects in the petition;
  • the amount being claimed is already secured for.


If you dispute all or the majority of the debt you must lodge a Notice of Opposition before the Court hearing.

We can assist in preparing that notice and advise as to the process.

We are often asked to help where some, but not all of the debt is disputed and this is where a different strategy is needed to avoid bankruptcy.


In the majority of cases we see, the creditor just wants to be paid.  Asking the court to make a bankruptcy order risks the creditor having to wait many months, if not years, to receive payment but more importantly risks not getting paid at all.  You may not realise it, but they may want to settle.

There can sometimes be a better chance of settling when part of the claim is disputed and both parties face expensive legal costs in defending the Bankruptcy Petition.

We can help by engaging with the creditor or their representatives to achieve a settlement for you.

This is where we can help – a few possible options are as follows:-

  • negotiate a settlement possibly with payment by instalments;
  • agree to provide security for the debt over your property;
  • arrange payment by a third party, perhaps friends or family can help;
  • enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement.

Withdrawal or Dismissal

If it is possible to settle or in some way resolve the Bankruptcy Petition, then the Petition can be disposed of by asking the Court to dismiss it.

It is important to ensure that all record of the Bankruptcy Petition against you and your property is extinguished as soon as possible.

Call us today for help

Whatever the situation you are in – our expert team is here to help. We have successful defended hundreds of bankruptcy petitions and helped resolve hundreds more. Let us help you too.

A rollercoaster ride on a journey into the not uncomplicated world of insolvency law was made infinitely better, thanks to founding partner Tim Francis’ superior and expansive knowledge of this field of law. Along with a sterling effort in pursuing an important bankruptcy petition, they helped very much smooth the journey. Tim went over and above, throughout, keeping us updated through regular and clear communication. Many thanks.

A client for whom we assisted in pursuing an urgent bankruptcy matter

Key contacts

Andy Lynch

Andy Lynch


Tim Francis

Tim Francis


Sue Brumby

Sue Brumby


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