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Circumstances have changed - after bankruptcy

This advice applies to Wales

If your circumstances change after a bankruptcy order is made, you have a duty to tell the official receiver.

This page explains what counts as a change of circumstances and how you should tell the official receiver about it.

What counts as a change of circumstances?

A change of circumstances could include any of the following:

  • your income has gone up, for example if you've been promoted at work
  • you've received a lump sum payment or new property, for example through an inheritance
  • you've received a payment protection insurance (PPI) claim payout
  • you've won money, such as lottery or premium bond winnings
  • you've received a personal injury award.

What will happen when you tell the official receiver?

When you tell the official receiver about a change of circumstances, they will look at what's happened and decide if any arrangements need to be changed. For example, if your income has gone up or you've received a lump sum payment, you may need to put some of this towards paying off your debts.

You should also tell the official receiver if your income has gone down. It may no longer be appropriate for you to keep making payments towards debts under any existing arrangements.

Depending on the change of circumstances, the official receiver could do the following:

  • ask you to make an income payments agreement (IPA), where you have money left over to put towards paying your debts
  • apply for an income payments order (IPO) if you don't agree to an IPA
  • increase or decrease the amount you pay in an existing IPA or IPO
  • suspend your IPA or IPO payments, if your income has gone down
  • take a proportion of any lump sum you've received for payment towards your debts.

If you don't tell the official receiver about a change of circumstances

You have a duty to tell the official receiver about changes in your circumstances. If you don't, you will be treated as though you haven't co-operated fully with the official receiver, meaning they can apply to the court for any or all of the following:

  • an order for you to attend a public examination
  • an arrest warrant if you've failed to attend a public examination
  • an order to have your mail redirected to the trustee
  • for you to become subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order.

You may also be prosecuted for committing a bankruptcy offence.

If your change of circumstances means you can pay off your debts

If your change of circumstances means you've paid off all your debts and bankruptcy expenses, such as the trustee's costs, you can apply to have your bankruptcy cancelled.

Next steps

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