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The Bankruptcy Process - Applying To Make Someone Bankrupt

A look at the steps that need to be taken should you apply to make someone else bankrupt.

If you wish to apply for someone to be made bankrupt then you need to present a bankruptcy “petition” to a court.

Apply to bankrupt someone who owes you money:

If you wish to apply for someone to be made bankrupt then you need to present a bankruptcy “petition” to a court. This petition requests that the person’s assets are taken and sold in order to pay off their debts, at least partially. It is not a simple process, so many who petition use a solicitor or other qualified professional. Alternatively, a mediation service can be utilised to find an agreement between the two parties.

How to present a petition

Firstly, to make someone bankrupt, you must prove you are owed at least £750, or that are owed the share of a debt that totals at least £750. Then, check that there aren’t other bankruptcy petitions already active against the debtor, and then submit the paperwork.

The court fees to make someone bankrupt

£750 petition deposit
£280 for court costs
The fees can be paid using cash, postal order or a cheque made payable to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service.
Paperwork: If a request for payment has been made to someone who owes you money (a statutory demand), then a certificate must be completed – either a personal service one, where the demand is “served” (hand-delivered), a substituted service (a posted demand), or alternatively the creditor can get a sheriff or bailiff’s statement showing that you got a court judgment for the money and that the sheriff or bailiff couldn’t recover sufficient assets in order to pay the debt.
Checks: you must do a “search” to see if the debtor has had any other bankruptcy petitions against them in the previous 18 months. The majority of petitions are presented in the area where the debtor resides. Government departments present petitions in London.
Post-checks: If the person who owes you money has had a bankruptcy order made against them, it is usually the cheapest option to then register as a creditor. Confirmation must be given that you have carried out the searches.


Fill in form 6.7 if the debtor hasn’t responded to a statutory demand, or form 6.9 if the sheriff/bailiff acting on the case could not seize sufficient assets to pay off debts. You will also have to provide a statement of truth confirming the details of your petition, which will set out what is owed and all the relevant information needed to proceed. After this, the petition can be served.

Free debt counselling and advice is also available from the Money Advice Service available at: doesn't charge a fee for its bankruptcy service, but receives remuneration from the partners that we work with in order to keep operating. Those partners must charge a fee to the customer to likewise cover operational costs, and this amount will vary depending on the solution offered, and the terms of the parner. For details of these terms, please refer to the website of the organisation dealing with your bankruptcy. Upon application with, we will forward your information on to one of our specialist debt partners. You will then be contacted, and you will be able to explain your case, and expert advice will be offered in order to ascertain the most appropriate debt solution.