Minimal asset process (MAP) bankruptcy

Key facts

How much debt must I owe? ​The total amount of your debts must be at least £1,500 and no more than £17,000.

What type of debt? ​Most debts except: fines, penalties, compensation and forfeiture orders imposed by any court; any debt that has been incurred through fraud; student loans; any obligation to pay maintenance to an ex-spouse due under a court order (not Child Support Agency arrears or Child Maintenance Service arrears); and money owed to a creditor whose debt is secured on your property (such as a mortgage or secured loan).

How long will it last? You will be discharged after six months. However, you will be under certain restrictions for a further six months after discharge.

How it works

See our fact sheet:

Bankruptcy.

You have to meet certain criteria to be able to apply for your own bankruptcy under the MAP rules. The total amount of your debt must be at least £1,500 but no more than £17,000. You must not have a single asset worth more than £1,000 and your total assets must be worth no more than £2,000.

You can keep a car worth up to £3,000 if you need it, for example, to get to work. You must get advice from a money adviser and when they complete your budget sheet with you, it must show that you cannot afford to pay anything towards your debts. Alternatively, you must show that you have been receiving certain benefits for the six months before your application.

You must not own any land and you must have a ‘certificate for sequestration’. This is a certificate, signed by a money adviser, which confirms that you cannot pay your debts as they fall due. Your MAP bankruptcy will last for six months, but you will be under certain restrictions if you apply for credit for a further six months.

Advantages

  • ​Relief from the stress and anxiety of being in debt.
  • Cheaper than the standard bankruptcy.
  • Having your debts written off, or ‘discharged’, after six months.
  • Being able to build a new life.

Disadvantages

  • The possible loss of certain assets.
  • The trustee has wide powers over your financial affairs;
  • Certain types of job can be affected.
  • You cannot hold public office (for example, as an MP, MSP, councillor, or member of a school board) and you cannot serve as a company director unless the sheriff court agrees.
  • You cannot take out credit of more than £2,000 unless you tell the creditor about your status.
  • You cannot take out credit of any amount if at that time you have debts of at least £1,000.
  • The bankruptcy will be listed on your credit reference file for six years. Even after this period it can still be difficult to get credit, such as a mortgage. This is because lenders may ask whether you have ever been bankrupt.