A look at the official bankruptcy register - where to find it, and what it entails.
Many who have gone through or are considering the bankruptcy process express worry at having their details published. There is little cause for concern.
The Bankruptcy Register: An Overview
The individual insolvency register contains details of matters relating to bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements that the Secretary of State is required to keep by law. The bankruptcy register is required by law to be open, or therefore accessible, between the hours of 9am and 5pm. There is a separate register named the bankruptcy restrictions order register, which contains details of matters concerning interim bankruptcy restrictions orders, bankruptcy restrictions orders and also bankruptcy restrictions undertakings (If the official receiver feels that someone who is bankrupt has been dishonest, the court can make a bankruptcy restrictions order).
The Bankrupty Register Process
Once a bankruptcy order has been processed, the official receiver must enter the information on the bankruptcy register. This information will allow anyone searching the register thereafter to identify the bankrupt and gain additional information such as the court that dealt with the bankruptcy order and the case number.
There is a wealth of information that the official receiver will add to the register that helps aid the identification of the debtor. Information that is added includes the debtor’s name, residence and occupation, the nature of any business carried out, alternative names used, any business addresses, the date of the bankruptcy order, court, reference number, the debtor’s gender and date of birth, previous bankruptcy dates, the name of the trustee, and contact details for that trustee. Also listed will be the planned discharge date, or any suspensions of that discharge.
The Secretary of State will delete all information about the bankruptcy when the bankruptcy has been annulled, or three months after the date of discharge.
Where can the bankruptcy register be found?
Access to information on the bankruptcy register can be found at your nearest official receiver's office. You can search for the number in the Yellow Pages or go to the Insolvency Service website.
Searching online is also available using the individual insolvency register.
Many still see a stigma attached to declaring bankruptcy, and linked to that is the fear that people you know will see that you have been declared bankrupt. This is an unjust fear however, as you would have to be looking specifically for details to find them – bankruptcies are not published in local newspapers, so without actively searching, such as on the link above, there’s no reason why those around you would know about the bankruptcy, unless you told them. The exception regarding publications is the London Gazette, a niche product that is unlikely to cross the path of anyone you know.