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Moved to Europe. Can I go bankrupt in the UK – Brexit Guide

Moved to Europe. Can I go bankrupt in the UK – Brexit Guide

Moved to Europe. Can I go bankrupt in the UK – Brexit Guide

If you have moved to Europe since Brexit, the rules for going bankrupt in the UK have changed. You now have up to 3 years to apply. This is good news if you still have debt in the UK which you are struggling to pay.

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Are you allowed to go bankrupt in the UK after moving to an EU country?

The UK left the EU in January 2020. As a result, there has been a change in the rules concerning going bankrupt in England and Wales after moving to a different country in Europe.

Previously, if you moved within the EU but still had debt in the UK, you could only go bankrupt for up to 3 months from the date you left. After that you would have had to rely on the insolvency laws of the country that you had moved to.

Since Brexit (31st January 2020), this rule no longer applies. Now, if you move to another country in Europe you have up to 3 years to go declare yourself bankrupt in England or Wales (the rules in Scotland are different).

In other words, you will be treated in the same way as if you had moved to any other country outside of Europe.

You don’t have to travel back to the UK to go bankrupt. The application is submitted on line and communication with the Official Receiver can be done via e-mail.

How will going bankrupt in the UK affect you in Europe?

Going bankrupt in the UK should have little or no impact on your life in the European country where you now live as long as you are not a home owner.

Your local credit rating will not be affected. The credit reference agency in your local country is not informed of your UK bankruptcy. If you wish to do so, you should be able to open a new bank account and borrow money locally no differently to anyone else in your position.

Your local employer will not be told. They will not find out about your bankruptcy in the UK unless you decide to tell them.

When you submit your application form, you are asked to give details of your local bank account. The official receiver will write them (in English) with details of your bankruptcy. Depending on the bank and the country where you now live, there is a risk your account may be closed as a result. You therefore need to plan to open an alternative account if necessary.

If you own property outside of the UK, it could be at risk if you go bankrupt. You should not proceed with your application before you have spoken to us.

Will you have to make payments towards your debts in the UK?

You will be required to give details about your local income and living expenses in your application form. The figures you submit must be converted into pounds.

Once you are bankrupt, the Official Receiver will review your income and expenses budget.

Of course, they will take into account the fact that your living costs locally may be different to those expected in the UK. Bear in mind that they may also ask you to provide proof of your income in the form of bank statements or wage slips (although these are not always asked for).

If you have no surplus income, you will make no further payments towards your debts. However, where you do have a surplus, this still has to be paid to the Official Receiver in the UK every month. Such payments last 3 years.

For this reason, it is very important you do not show that you can pay more than you can really afford.

We recommend that you use our bankruptcy assistance service to guide you through the bankruptcy process and in particular in regards to your income and expenses budget.

Call us or complete the form below for assistance with going bankrupt if you have already moved to Europe (0800 077 6180). The advice is free and confidential.

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