Bankruptcy and Annulment

Immediate, practical legal advice for people facing bankruptcy, their families, associates and creditors

Bankruptcy can be a new start. It can also be stressful, complicated and dangerous, both to the debtor and the debtor’s associates and family.

Whether you are threatened with bankruptcy proceedings, or you have issues that have arisen out of your own bankruptcy or the bankruptcy of someone else, we make things easier and help you achieve a better outcome.

Longmores Insolvency and Dispute Resolution team can give you the benefit of our years of experience, offering professional advice, helping you understand your rights, conducting negotiations or tenaciously fighting your corner as the situation demands.

Tailored-made support for your unique circumstances

Our experienced bankruptcy solicitors can assist with options including:

It is very important to seek help at an early stage – the sooner you obtain professional advice on your situation, the more options you will have. Getting professional advice up front is the best way to avoid unexpected – and often expensive – issues arising later on.

Speak to our bankruptcy solicitors

To discuss your requirements with our sensible, approachable bankruptcy and annulment experts, please get in touch.

01992 300333                     Ask a question 

Our bankruptcy and annulment services

Contesting bankruptcy proceedings

You have the right to oppose a bankruptcy petition if you believe the debt is not valid. You can also contest bankruptcy if you can show that you will be able to repay the debt within a reasonable timeframe.

Our bankruptcy solicitors can advise you on whether such a move is right for your circumstances and your chances of success. You can then make an informed choice about whether you wish to go down this route of consider one of the alternative options explored below.

If you do with to oppose a bankruptcy petition, we can help with all the necessary paperwork and provide robust representation for your hearing.

Alternatives to bankruptcy

There are various alternatives to bankruptcy you may wish to consider, depending on your circumstances. We will be happy to advise you on these options and explore whether they may be right for you.

The four main alternatives to bankruptcy are:

  • Debt consolidation – where you take out a new loan to repay your existing debts. This can allow you to negotiate more favourable interest rates and repayment terms, so you can repay your debt at a manageable pace.
  • Administration Order – a court ordered agreement allowing you to pay a fixed monthly amount to settle your debts (only available for debts under £5,000).
  • Debt Relief Order – a court order that allows your debt to be written off after 12 months in exchange for agreeing to live under certain restrictions during that time (only available for debts under £20,000 for people with minimal assets and spare income)
  • Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) – an agreement between a debtor and their creditors aimed at repaying as much of the debt as possible while staying within the debtors means (must be set up and administered by an insolvency practitioner)

Setting aside a bankruptcy order

If you have already been made bankrupt, that is not necessarily the end. Sometimes – particularly if you act fast – it may be possible to set aside a bankruptcy order.

To have a bankruptcy order set aside, you will usually need to show either that the debt has been repaid in full already or that the bankruptcy order should not have been made. There may also be other grounds for having a bankruptcy order set aside depending on the circumstances, so it is strongly recommended to seek specialist advice as soon as possible.

Our insolvency solicitors will be happy to discuss your situation with you and whether it is worth attempting to have a bankruptcy order set aside or whether other options may be more suitable.

Cancelling a bankruptcy order (annulment)

Where you have equity in your home or other assets, or where you are able to raise money to pay off your debts, you may want to consider an annulment.

Obtaining an annulment will involve paying your debts in full, but it will also mean you are treated as though you never went bankrupt. Where you have assets, an annulment will usually be much more cost effective than letting a trustee in bankruptcy sell your property.

Our bankruptcy solicitors can advise on whether an annulment is appropriate for your circumstances and guide you through the necessary process.

Protecting assets or business interests jointly owned with someone facing bankruptcy

If a joint owner of your home, business or other assets becomes bankrupt, it can be very worrying, with serious potential implications for your own financial situation.

Unless a formal agreement is in place, the bankruptcy trustee is entitled to assume the ownership of any joint assets 50:50, even if this does not reflect your informal agreement with the person subject to a bankruptcy order. If you are the joint tenant of a property, the bankruptcy trustee can potentially make a claim against the entire property, so this must be considered at an early stage.

Our team can advise you on your options for protecting your home, business or other assets, including formalising the division of ownership and making sure this is properly evidenced. This can help to ensure your own financial position is not put at risk due to someone else’s difficulties.

Following bankruptcy, a trustee may be appointed and may seek to bring claims against associates and family members, perhaps alleging transactions have occurred at an undervalue or that preferential payments have been made.

Because we also act for trustees in bankruptcy, we understand these claims and the tactics involved. We will give you pragmatic advice on your options and can act on your behalf in court proceedings or negotiations.

We have successfully defended family members and associates of people subject to bankruptcy orders under highly challenging circumstances, so can provide assurance of the strongest possible representation.

Disputing bankruptcy trustee fees

Where issues arise over a trustee in bankruptcy’s fees, we can advise on your options. We have experience working for creditors, debtors and trustees in such scenarios, so can give you the benefit of our first-hand knowledge of what works and what you may be able to achieve.

Bankruptcy advice for creditors

For creditors, bringing bankruptcy proceedings can be a good way of getting payment from debtors. In many cases, bankruptcy petitions may be covered by our Fixed Fee Debt Recovery Scheme. We can also help creditors if they end up in dispute with a trustee in bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy and annulment case studies

Successfully opposing an HMRC petition for unpaid tax

Our team were able to successfully oppose a bankruptcy petition brought by HMRC for unpaid tax. We were able to show that our client’s accountant had made a mistake and the tax was not actually due, resulting in the bankruptcy petition being rejected.

Acting for the wife of a person subject to a bankruptcy order in relation to an alleged undervalued property transfer

A property claim was brought against our client by a bankruptcy trustee who alleged that our client’s spouse, who had been declared bankrupt, had transferred a property to her at below its true value. By demonstrating mistakes in the trustee’s position, our client successfully settled the claim for a fraction of its original value.

Obtaining an annulment for a debtor in contested court proceedings

We succeeded in cancelling the bankruptcy order to which our client had been made subject  after a previous annulment application had already been unsuccessful. Our client faced eviction if the bankruptcy order could not be cancelled, making this a particularly high stakes situation. The outcome we secured included obtaining a substantial reduction in the trustee’s costs, further reducing the burden on our client.

Our bankruptcy and annulment fees

Obviously, when dealing with a bankruptcy situation, the thought of any additional cost is hardly likely to be welcome. That said, it is important to understand that the value of good legal advice at this stage can far outweigh the costs, leaving you in a much better financial position in the long term.

Our bankruptcy solicitors do everything we can to minimise our costs without ever compromising on the quality of the service we deliver. We work hard and intelligently to keep our overheads low, passing on these savings to our clients. This allows us to offer the highest levels of legal expertise and service at a lower cost than many of our competitors.

Where appropriate, we are able to offer some of our bankruptcy services on a fixed fee or capped fee basis, making it easier for you to budget with confidence.

To find out more about our bankruptcy and annulment fees and to request a cost estimate, please get in touch.

Speak to our bankruptcy solicitors

To discuss your requirements with our sensible, approachable bankruptcy and annulment experts, please get in touch.

01992 300333                     Ask a question 

Case Studies

  • Successfully opposing an HMRC petition for unpaid tax, when our client’s accountant had made a mistake and the tax was not actually due.
  • Acting for the wife of a bankrupt in relation to a claim property was transferred to her at an undervalue. By demonstrating mistakes in the trustee’s position, our client successfully settled the claim for a fraction of its original value.
  • Obtaining an annulment for a debtor in contested court proceedings, after a previous annulment application had already been unsuccessful and they faced eviction. This included obtaining a substantial reduction in the trustee’s costs.


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