If you are made bankrupt then you can expect that day to receive a telephone call from your local Official Receiver, who will introduce himself and confirm that he will be writing to you to fix an interview date.
The Official Receiver is a government official who is responsible for looking after and investigating your affairs as a bankrupt.
If you have assets at the time of your bankrupty for instance an interest in property, that interest will vest in him or her.
The Official Receiver will write to you very soon after you have been made bankrupt and ask you to come and see him for an interview, or to set out a time when he will call you. In the vast majority of cases that I see at present, clients are called by the OR in a basic interview that lasts between 30 and 45 minutes.
In the interview with the OR you will be taken through your statement of affairs. In all probability the length of the interview will in a large part be determined on two aspects:-
a) the quality of the statement of affairs that is completed… the better and fuller the statement, the shorter the interview that will be required;
b) the complexity of your affairs.. so if you have no available assets or income, you will be dealt with very speedily.
Your statement of affairs is about 35 pages long and from this the Official Receiver will be looking to confirm al your creditors and the amounts that you owe. If you have filled this in fully, then little time will need to be spent on this. It follows that it pays to get a professional to complete this form with you to ensure that it is as complete as possible.
In addition to the above, your income and expenditure will be analysed so that the OR can determine whether or not you have surplus income that you can contribute to him for 36 months via what is known as a Income Payments Agreement. Make sure that you utilise all your allowable allowances. If you cannot find out what these are, please seek expert help as it could save you thousands of pounds in contributions, if you get this right first time.
Your assets will be dealt with such as a house and a car. Again, in the statement of these are explained properly they can be easily dealt with by the OR. If you have a house with equity now is the time to ask what the OR’s attitude is to selling it back to you if you so wish, or if not how he intends to realise it as an asset.
The OR will also briefly go over the reasons for your bankruptcy and this will determine his attitude to any possible bankruptcy restriction order that he may seek to agree or impose.