Fast-track route to online bankruptcy proposed

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Declaring yourself bankrupt should be easier to do, says the Insolvency Service. Individuals would be able to apply for bankruptcy online or through the post rather than in court under proposals from the government agency.

Some debtors have to wait up to three months for their applications to be accepted by the court, while default fees rise and creditors chase them for money they can't pay, said the Insolvency Service. The proposed changes will reduce this period. Instead of waiting for available court time, debtors will be able to file petitions directly to a decision-maker, appointed by the Business Secretary. The decision- makers will consider each petition, rigorously checking that the criteria are met. They will then give their decision.

Ian Lucas, the minister for Business, said: "Many people delay making a petition for bankruptcy because they do not want to appear in court, meaning they can sink further into debt. We want to reduce that delay, while freeing up valuable court time."

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