There was a time when bankruptcy was probably the biggest stigma that could be attached to anyone in business. Thankfully those days are long gone. Today, bankruptcies are fast, efficient and frequent court procedures designed not as a punishment for the creditor, but as a means of drawing a line under un-payable debts and allowing everyone to move on. While most people would not exactly like to be made bankrupt, in most cases where it becomes necessary, it is seen as a welcome release rather than a humiliating penalty.
When You Become Bankrupt
Bankruptcy is what happens when you simply cannot repay your debts. How it comes about is one of your debtors, someone who you owe more than £1,500 to, will ask the court to make you bankrupt. A trustee will be appointed to carry out the task and then all your creditors will inform him of how much you owe them. He will gather up all of your assets, and use them to pay off the debts. Creditors will be paid proportionately, which means that if your assets are not enough to pay off the debts in full, they will each get the same proportion of their debt repaid.
What Are Bankruptcy’s Disadvantages?
The disadvantages of this are obvious. By gathering up all your assets, the trustee will essentially leave you with nothing. Your home, your car, your savings, everything that he considers a worthwhile asset will be gathered up and sold. If you have a family, it can be quite traumatic, as they have to leave their home. If you rent your home then this will not affect you, as there is nothing there for the trustee to take. Your personal effects such as clothes and most furniture, will not be taken by the trustee, as they are considered too personal and insignificant to take.
And The Advantages?
The advantage of going bankrupt however is that it gives you a clean slate. Regardless of how much you owe, and how much you can afford to pay back, at the end of the process, you will emerge with a completely clean slate and will not owe anybody anything. Even if someone forgot to make a claim to the trustee, you will no longer owe them anything.
The Future After Bankruptcy
After your bankruptcy has been finalised and you have moved on you will be able to start rebuilding your financial, and probably personal, life again. Bad credit ratings will ensue, but rebuilding your credit is possible. Just like a child, baby steps are all that is required. Step by step, more credit options will become available and after several years your credit rating will become ‘average’ if you keep focused and don’t fall into any quick fix traps.
While the process of bankruptcy may take a while, during which you will not be able to control your finances and may have to give part of your income to the trustee, it is generally seen as worth it, and you will emerge ready to make a new start.
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