If you have gone bankrupt then found out that you missed a debt off the list of your debts in your bankruptcy application, you may be panicking. But most of the time you won’t have a problem – provided the debt would have been included in your bankruptcy if you had listed it at the start, then the debt will still be wiped out.
NB Even though a debt that was forgotten is still normally included in your bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to try to list everything when you are completing the online application, because the Official Receiver will then inform all your creditors and you will have less hassle!
Looking at some specific examples:
I forgot to put some old utility debts on my bankruptcy application, will I still have to pay them?
No, you won’t have to pay these bills. This is a very common omission – provided the debts date from before your bankruptcy decision they will be included in your bankruptcy.
So write to the utility company and inform them that you went bankrupt on dd/mm/yy and your bankruptcy number is 12345678. If you have a key meter, ask them to stop deducting money for the debt from your payments. Also tell your Official Receiver’s office what has happened – they won’t mind but they do need a complete list of your debts.
Tax credit overpayment
I was declared BR a year ago. I have since been to a tribunal concerning a tax credit debt. Although my appeal was not allowed the judge clearly write in the paperwork the debt was included in my bankruptcy and was not repayable. Today I received a letter from HMRC demanding this payment with no ref to my bankruptcy or the tribunal’s decision. Can I still be liable for this debt for some reason – I’m not getting tax credits anymore.
This tax credit debt should be included in your bankruptcy unless:
- it relates to a period after your bankruptcy application was approved. So if you went bankrupt in Jan 2013 and then had a tax credits overpayment for the tax year 2014-15 then it wouldn’t be included; or
- it is considered that the overpayment occurred because you committed fraud. As the tribunal judge said the debt would be covered by bankruptcy, this seems unlikely.
I suggest you tell your Official Receiver’s office about the debt and ask if it is covered. If they confirm that it is covered (which would be the majority of cases), write to HMRC and say you went bankrupt on dd/mm/yy at xxxxxx court, bankruptcy number 12345678 and so you are not liable for this debt. If you get more letters from them chasing this debt, put in a written complaint.
Child Support arrears
The CMS have said they will be taking money from my earnings. Can I stop this because I went bankrupt last year?
Child maintenance arrears are one of the few types of debts that can’t be included in bankruptcy, so having gone bankrupt won’t stop these deductions. Obviously, this will reduce your income, so inform your Official Receiver’s office about this and if you have an IPA your monthly payments will be reduced.