There a number of advantages and disadvantages to Sequestration. However their relevance will very much depend on your individual circumstances. We consider the advantages first.
1. No payments unless you can afford to make them
Once you start sequestration you no longer have to make payments to your creditors. Instead the Accountant in Bankruptcy will review your income and expenditure. If you can afford to make any payments towards your debts these are made directly to the official receiver in the form of an income payment agreement and are only payable for three years.
2. Only lasts 12 months
Other then in very unusual circumstances, sequestration will only last for 12 months. You will then be discharged and no longer bound by the restrictions of bankruptcy. After your discharge any windfall payments you receive (other than a PPI compensation claim) will be yours to keep.
3. Debt written off
Once you are discharged from your bankruptcy, your debts are taken away from you and you no longer have a responsibility to repay them. You will only continue to pay towards your debts if you have an income payment agreement which will only last for a maximum of 3 years.
4. Cheap to implement
To go into Sequestration you will need to pay a fee to the Accountant in Bankruptcy of £200. If you are living on a low income this may sound a lot. However after you are bankrupt you will not have to make any further payments towards your debts unless you can afford to do so.
5. HMRC Tax and VAT debts can be included
If you have any HMRC debts such as tax arrears these can all be included and written off in sequestration.
It is important to understand that as well as benefits, declaring yourself bankrupt can also have some disadvantages. Before making a decision to go into sequestration you need to understand these in the context of your circumstances.
1. Homeowners property may be at risk
If you are a homeowner, it does not automatically mean that you will lose your property if you are declared bankrupt. In fact if there is little or no equity or the property is in negative equity it is likely that you will be able to keep it. However if there is significant equity in your home which is in your name, then the Accountant in Bankruptcy will be obliged to realise this by forcing the sale of the property if necessary.
2. Car may be at risk
In sequestration you are allowed to drive a car if you need one for work or other reasonable family commitments. However your car can not normally be worth more than £3000. If it is you may be forced to sell the car and replace it with a cheaper one.
3. Payments have to be made for three years
If you can afford to pay towards your debts you will have to do so in the form of a income payment agreement for 3 years. This means that you may have to continue making payments even after your bankruptcy has finished. While the income payment agreement is in place you must report changes in your income to the Accountant in Bankruptcy and your payments may increase or reduce as a result.
4. Some jobs are affected
If you are declared bankrupt you will not be able to continue working in certain positions or hold certain operating licenses. The main roles that you will be excluded from while bankrupt are:
Company Director, Solicitor, Accountant and various roles in the financial services community. You will not be able to hold an HGV operator’s license or a publican’s license.
5. Negative effect on credit rating
If you enter into sequestration, your credit rating will become significantly worse. For more information see How Sequestration affects your credit rating.
More information about the Sequestration solution is available in the left hand column. However only a brief overview is given here. For more details and advice please see one of our dedicated information websites:
Read more – Our debt experts have written thousands of articles about solving personal debt problems. Read some of these to find more about which debt solution is best for you.
Ask our online experts – We have debt experts on hand to provide unbiased, accurate advice. Ask your questions in one of our debt forums, via our live chat facilities or by traditional email.
Call us direct on 0844 544 8850 – All conversations with our expert advisors are held in the strictest confidence.