Talk to the experts. 

Welcome to Francis Wilks & Jones, the country’s leading firm of bankruptcy petition lawyers. Whatever your situation, we can assist in this area of the law.  Contact one of our expert bankruptcy petition lawyers today

1. Served with a bankruptcy petition – speak to expert bankruptcy lawyers now

A bankruptcy petition is normally served by a creditor of an individual seeking payment of outstanding money. Bankruptcy petitions are commonly issued and served by trade suppliers, individuals, companies, financial institutions and the HMRC. 

Whatever the reason for receipt of the bankruptcy petition, you must act quickly. If a bankruptcy petition is not dealt with it can have enormous consequences in your personal life. It may even lead to the loss of your assets, house and business. It is vital to take early control and this can make the difference between avoiding bankruptcy and having to go through the painful process of bankruptcy. 

Contact one of our expert bankruptcy lawyers now. 
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2. Thinking of issuing a bankruptcy petition?

Talk to the experts. 

Welcome to Francis Wilks & Jones, the country’s leading firm of bankruptcy petition lawyers. 

A bankruptcy petition is normally issued and served by a creditor on an individual for the recovery of outstanding money following a court judgment and/or the expiry of a statutory demand. Bankruptcy petitions in the right hands can be fantastic ways of recovering outstanding money. 

However, it is very important to get the bankruptcy petition process right. Careful drafting of the documentation is vital in order to avoid the bankruptcy petition being struck out. At Francis Wilks & Jones we can help you through this process and help maximise your prospects of success. 

Contact one of our expert bankruptcy petition lawyers now
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3. What is a Bankruptcy Petition?

We are often asked by clients “what is a bankruptcy petition?” A bankruptcy petition is an application presented to the court to seek to make an individual bankrupt as they are unable to pay the debts that they owe to a creditor or creditors. A person or company can apply to make an individual bankrupt if that individual owes the company or creditor more than £5,000 and there is no dispute over the debt.
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4. Bankruptcy Petition costs

Bankruptcy petitions are relatively inexpensive to apply for and in the event that a debtor repays the debt they owe to you before the bankruptcy petition is heard, then the creditor will often recover a substantial amount of the costs they have had to pay to make the application. If you are instructing a solicitor to make the bankruptcy petition on your behalf, you will have to pay your solicitors legal costs as well as the court costs of making the application itself.
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5. What is a Bankruptcy Order?

We are often asked “what is a bankruptcy order?” A Bankruptcy Order is an official judgment from the Court which confirms that an individual has been declared bankrupt as they are unable to pay their debts to their creditors. A Bankruptcy Order is made following the presentation of a bankruptcy petition by a creditor of the debtor at court. A Bankruptcy Order usually lasts for 12 months, following which it is discharged, unless there is a reason to extend it.
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6. How do I prove the debtor is unable to pay their debts?

In order for the court to grant a Bankruptcy Order following the presentation of a Bankruptcy Petition, it will be necessary for the creditor (who bought the bankruptcy petition) to show to the Court that the debtor is unable to pay their debts within a reasonable period of time. The most common method of proving to the Court that the debtor cannot pay their debts is to present a statutory demand on the debtor prior to the presentation of a bankruptcy petition.
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7. What happens after a Bankruptcy Order is made?

If a Bankruptcy Order is made against an individual, the Official Receiver or Trustee in Bankruptcy will be appointed to administer the bankrupt’s estate to see whether the individual has any assets which can be sold to pay off creditors. This means that individuals could lose their houses, cars and other assets after they are made bankrupt. Further the individual will not be allowed to be a director of a company and may be disqualified or suspended from professional organisations, if they are members of one, such as the Law Society. The Bankruptcy Order will usually last for 12 months, after which it is dismissed.
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8. How to defend a bankruptcy petition?

We are often asked by clients “how they can defend a bankruptcy petition?” Defending bankruptcy petitions is not straightforward and we would recommend that you seek legal advice if you wish to defend the bankruptcy petition. If you have been previously served with a statutory demand and have not been able to set it aside or have ignored it, then it may be more difficult to defend the bankruptcy petition when it is presented. It is therefore vital that you seek legal advice as soon as possible after receiving a statutory demand or bankruptcy petition if you wish to defend it.
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9. Bankruptcy Petition search

Generally speaking, two creditors cannot present two separate bankruptcy petitions at the same time. As such, if you decide to present a bankruptcy petition against an individual, you need to carry out a search beforehand to ensure there are no existing petitions in place. This is a relatively straightforward procedure and one which a solicitor can do on your behalf for a small cost. You will need to verify in any bankruptcy petition that is presented to the court that you have carried out a bankruptcy search prior to the bankruptcy petition being issued.
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10. Bankruptcy Petition after statutory demand

Probably the most usual route to the presentation of a bankruptcy petition is where a creditor has served a statutory demand on the debtor and they have failed to pay the debt within 21 days or failed to make an application to set aside the statutory demand. A statutory demand is not a court document, but failure to comply with the statutory demand will leave the creditor in a position to present a bankruptcy petition if they choose to do so. The costs of drafting and serving a statutory demand are less than a bankruptcy petition, but the consequences of the debtor failing to pay within 21 days can be extreme, so statutory demands can be used as good tools to recover debts from debtor, especially if that debtor would not wish to subsequently be made bankrupt.
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11. Bankruptcy Petition amount

If a creditor is owed more than £5,000 and the debt is undisputed, then they are normally able to present a bankruptcy petition at court. If the total debt is less than this sum or the amount which is undisputed is less than £5,000, then it is not possible for a creditor to issue a bankruptcy petition and they would have to pursue the debt in the county court.
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12. Form of a Bankruptcy Petition

Bankruptcy Petitions need to comply with certain requirements as set out in the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016. As such, it is advisable to seek legal advice if you wish to issue a bankruptcy petition, to ensure that all the correct information is included in the Bankruptcy Petition. If all of the required information is not included in the Bankruptcy Petition, the court may either refuse to issue it, or the Court will not grant a Bankruptcy Order until the correct information has been supplied. This will normally cause delays to the bankruptcy process.
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13. Verification of the Bankruptcy Petition

When issuing a bankruptcy petition, the creditor or their legal representative needs to verify that the information contained in the petition is true and accurate. If it is subsequent found that the information contained in the bankruptcy petition is not true and accurate and the person who verified the petition knew this to be the case at the time they verified the petition, then that person could be held liable for contempt of court.
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14. At which court do I present the Bankruptcy Petition?

We are often asked by clients “at which court to I present a bankruptcy petition?” Only certain courts around the country are able to deal with bankruptcy cases. Normally, a creditor should present a bankruptcy petition at the home court of the debtor, but it is always worth checking with that court to see if they carry out bankruptcy matters. The rules are slightly different where the debtor is based in London.
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