Q: I have been informed by the Official Receiver’s Office that I’ve been made bankrupt. I owe money to some creditors but didn’t know I was under threat of bankruptcy. What can I do?
A: You may be able to apply to the court to annul the bankruptcy order. The Official Receiver can provide copies of the order and petition which will identify the creditor that has petitioned for your bankruptcy. You should also seek specialist legal advice.
Under Insolvency law, you can apply to the court to annul the bankruptcy order if you have cash available to pay all of your creditors and any expenses of your bankruptcy. It is recommended that you act quickly as failure to do so could increase the expenses of your bankruptcy and the Official Receiver could appoint a Trustee in Bankruptcy. If you are unable to pay your debts, but you have sufficient equity in your home, you may be able to get the bankruptcy annulled on the grounds that you can provide security for your bankruptcy debts.
If you weren’t served personally with the bankruptcy petition, you may be able to get this annulled on the grounds that the order should not have been made. However if the court considered you had been trying to avoid service of the bankruptcy petition then the petitioning creditor may have obtained permission from the court to post the bankruptcy petition to you.
Preferably you should apply on the grounds that you can pay your bankruptcy debts. It is worth noting though that applying on these grounds will result in a longer waiting period for the hearing as the Official Receiver has to be given 28 days notice.