The last time I wrote I was waiting to open my new bank account with the Co-op before I went bankrupt. The service was pretty good and I got my account details and debit card through the post at the end of last week. They asked me if I would like to use their transfer service to move all my direct debits across however I have to say I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to that kind of stuff so I decided to do them myself. I only have 4 or 5 so it was not difficult.
I have also told my employer to pay my next salary into my new account so everything is sorted on that front. At first I was a bit worried that they would ask why but they didn’t. Just the sort code and account number details. I guess at the end of the day they do not care where they pay my salary…
Once the bank account side of this was sorted it was then time to take the plunge and go to the Court. This was the thing I was really worried about. I decided to go this Tuesday. I spoke to James on Monday evening and it was great to get that last bit of re-assurance. He said I would have nothing to worry about and everything would go smoothly but I was still up until about 3am…..
Well I got to the Court at 8.45 as I did not want to be late but there was no-one behind the counter at that time so I went round the corner to get a coffee. I went back at 9 and saw the Clerk. I have to say that he was very kind. I handed over my copies of the application forms (3 were needed in my case). The Clerk was impressed with how thoroughly they were completed and asked me if I had had help so I told him. I handed over the fee in cash and then the Clerk asked me to go to a waiting area and said he would call me when the Judge was ready to see me.
I was waiting about 20 minutes which was nerve racking and then the Clerk came over to say that the Judge was ready to see me. This was in her private chamber and I have to say I was pretty surprised. I really thought I would be told off or something for getting into debt but actually she was very matter of fact asking me questions about the last few years and how the debt had spiralled. I felt that she was quite sympathetic. She asked me if I understood what Bankruptcy would mean to me and if I have taken advice about my options and I said I had. She then said that she would grant the Bankruptcy Order and asked me to go back to the waiting area for the Clerk.
When I walked out of that room I have to say I had mixed emotions. Part of me was so happy that everything had gone so smoothly and the other part was really worried that something would still go wrong and the Clerk would come and say there was a problem. But that did not happen. The Clerk called me back to the desk and gave me a piece of paper which he told me was the Bankruptcy Order and reference. He also gave me another paper with details of the official receiver who he said would be in contact within 24 hours. Then I was free to go so I just walked out of the Court.
The whole thing took less than 2 hours. I was straight on the phone to my wife to give her the news. It was such a relief that it was done but at the same time I know that I still have to speak to the Official Receiver. James had also asked me to call him once I was finished at the Court so I gave him a ring to. He said that I should expect a call from the Official Receiver’s office within a couple of days but it might even be the same day. I asked him what would happen if any of my creditors now contact me in the mean time. He said that I must now tell them I am bankrupt and give them the Court Reference but I am no longer allowed to pay anything to them and they should speak to the OR about it. That will be an interesting conversation…..
In the end I got a call from the OR the next morning (yesterday). They did not want to talk in much detail about my situation then but wanted to organise a date and time when we would have a formal interview. We agreed this would be next week. They also said they would need 12 months of bank statements and credit card statements and that they would write to me to confirm this… I am feeling a bit nervous about this meeting but at the end of the day I have nothing to hide and I am just going to answer all their questions as best I can. I am also concerned about what they will say about the house and the equity and if they will let me buy this back straight away.
So for now I am waiting for next week. I will write again after the interview to tell you how it goes. But for now I have started looking forward. By the end of October next year I should be debt free and looking forward to rebuilding my life.
Until next time. Rambling on.