Bankruptcy is a word which carries distinct connotations and many people still feel that it carries a certain stigma. In...
If you’re familiar with the register of companies on the Companies House Website, you’ll probably be aware that you can use it to freely look up company details and submitted documents for any registered Company for free.
Less well known is that the Insolvency Service also has a publically accessible register. In their case, it’s a register of individuals who are, or have recently been, subject to various formal insolvency proceedings.
So anyone can see I’m a Bankrupt?
Unfortunately yes. There is a statutory requirement for The Insolvency Service to keep and maintain and make publically available, records of all formal insolvencies, along with relevant personal details restrictions and undertakings.
If you’ve been declared bankrupt, or are the subject of a debt relief order, your details will be recorded on the insolvency record and remain there for at least three months after your bankruptcy or debt relief order has ended. The same applies to Individual Voluntary Arrangements too.
After your insolvency has ended, it’s normal for your details to stay on the Insolvency register for a further three months, after which time your details will be removed.
Which details will be published in the Insolvency Register?
If you’ve been declared bankrupt, the date of the bankruptcy will be recorded on the insolvency register along with the details of the official receiver responsible for looking after the case. There will be relevant details for the insolvency along with any restrictions and obligations which might apply. Additionally, your name, address, date of birth and occupation will be listed.
In extreme circumstances, you can apply to have your address withheld, for instance, if there’s a credible chance that someone who wishes you harm could use the register to track you down. Otherwise, you cannot stop your details from being made public.
Why is this information made public?
The Insolvency Service is required by law to publish the insolvency register, to make it publicly available and to make if free to use.
As embarrassing as this might be, especially after having already been through the indignity of the process which saw you added to the list in the first place, there are a number of very good reasons for this information to be published the way it is.
For credit reference agencies, service providers and anyone else who might need to ascertain your status prior to dealing with you, there are clear reasons why they’d want to check for skeletons in your financial cupboard.
Unfortunately, this might also include ‘due diligence checks’ by employers or landlords you’re trying to rent from, or anyone else who might want to see if you’re likely to be a financial risk. However, do bear in mind that this register is there for everyone to use so you can carry out discreet checks on people you may want to deal with.
It has to be said that there a number of reasons why individuals might find themselves in circumstances which leads to them being on the Insolvency Register. Being on the register doesn’t necessarily make a person dishonest, untrustworthy or irresponsible, so it’s important to consider all factors when making decisions based on this data.
If you’re considering bankruptcy, or any other formal process to deal with problem debt, then get in touch with us for some expert guidance on all the implications.