Bankruptcy and Your Assets
As part of your bankruptcy order, money will have to be raised to pay off as much of your existing debt as is possible. This will involve the sale of some of your assets.
We’ll go through exactly which of your assets are liable to be taken and sold off and which you may be allowed to keep hold of if you declare bankruptcy.
In this guide:
Which assets will be taken?
Once you’ve been officially declared bankrupt, control of your assets will be passed on to a trustee – either a licensed insolvency practitioner or an official receiver appointed by the relevant county court.
Any of your assets deemed non-essential that have re-sale value are likely to be taken and sold off by the trustee in charge of your case. This is to raise as much money as possible to contribute towards repayment of the debts that caused you to become bankrupt in the first place.
Which assets can be kept?
You will be allowed to retain possession of any assets deemed essential both for your work and for your day to day life. This may include any tools or vehicles you own that you use for your job as well as basic, non-luxury household items like bedding, furniture and crockery.
Bank Accounts and Credit Cards
When you’ve been declared bankrupt, the chances are that all of your existing bank accounts will be frozen. This will certainly be the case with any accounts you have that are overdrawn but is also more than likely to be the case with any active accounts you have, particularly those with any major high street banks. The decision as to whether or not you’ll be able to continue using your account is ultimately up to the banks in question.
You must pass on all of your debit and credit cards to your trustee or official receiver, who will take control of your frozen accounts.
You will, however, usually be able to access some of your money for essential living expenses, to buy food and pay for your utility bills for example.
If you have a joint bank account, then your partner’s share of the money will still be accessible.
Any money you have in a pension pot as part of an approved pension scheme will be protected under the official Welfare Form and Pensions Act 1999. However, different pension schemes and providers will have different policies regarding what happens to the money in pension pots of those who've been declared bankrupt and so you'll have to get in touch with your pension provider to find out exactly what you'll keep and what you will have to relinquish.