Cheaper and speedier online applications for bankruptcy will be introduced in April as part of the Government’s drive to improve access to public services.

From 6 April 2016 people seeking to make themselves bankrupt will no longer need to apply to the court. Instead they will complete an online bankruptcy application on GOV.UK, which will be submitted to an Adjudicator employed by The Insolvency Service.

Online applications will be less expensive and, for the first time, will be able to be paid for in instalments.

Insolvency Service chief executive Sarah Albon said:

“Seeking help to deal with problem personal debt is the key step to being able to move forward. Online bankruptcy applications will be easier for people to complete and will remove the perceived stigma of going to court, which we know stops some people from applying.

“The launch of online applications on GOV.UK is part of a wider government plan to transform public services, making them easier to use and saving the taxpayer money.”

The current application fee for a personal bankruptcy application to court (known as a ‘debtor petition’) is £180. Online applications to the Adjudicator will cost £130 and can be ‘saved up for’ by paying in instalments online using a debit card. This will lower the price barrier and make it easier to file bankruptcy applications.

People and businesses owed money who are seeking to have someone declared bankrupt (known as ‘creditor petitions’) will continue to apply to a Court Registrar as they do now.