The Insolvency Service has confirmed that when debtors petition for bankruptcy online in future they won’t need sign off from an insolvency practitioner.
Sarah Albon, inspector general and chief executive of the Insolvency Service, told delegates at an ICAEW conference that it will become easier for debtors to make bankruptcy petitions and that imminent changes to the process will free up the courts’ time.
Speaking at the ICAEW’s annual conference for its Insolvency and Restructuring Group, Albon said that while acting in its new role as adjudicator, the Insolvency Service will look for potential abuse of the system.
The Insolvency Service will take on several new responsibilities this year, of which one will be replacing the court’s role in making bankruptcy orders on debtor petition cases.
She explained that a framework for bankruptcy that enables people to make decisions for themselves is in line with the government’s current thinking.
The Insolvency Service’s new roles are brought about by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
Albon said: “Once the provisions are implemented, an individual seeking the protection of bankruptcy will follow a new process.
“They will complete an online application and submit their application to the newly created office of the adjudicator, rather than to the court.”
She added: “As a result of the changes, the court will only be involved in a minority of cases where an individual applies for bankruptcy. These will be cases involving an appeal or a post-order application. In this way, much valuable court time will be freed up.”
Albon explained that for the individual debtor, the changes will mean “easier access to bankruptcy and the removal of the need to attend court, an experience which many find incredibly stressful.”
Albon added that the Insolvency Service will also upgrade the current online application for debt relief orders.
By Marcel LeGouais