Paper bankruptcy applications to end

All debtor applications to move online from September 2017

Faster and more accurate applications for bankruptcy are at the heart of changes to the bankruptcy process to be introduced by Accountant in Bankruptcy in September.

From 30 September 2017, money advisers and insolvency practitioners working on behalf of debtors will no longer be able to submit bankruptcy applications on paper forms, with the whole process moving online.

Not only are online submissions using AiB’s BASYS system less expensive to process, they are more accurate, allowing applications to be granted faster, easing strain and anxiety for debtors.

AiB chief executive Richard Dennis said: “Over 90 per cent of applications for bankruptcy are now received through BASYS, from a standing start in April 2015.

“Not only does the physical act of sending applications by post hold the process up, we tend to find these can have information missing which prevents the applications from proceeding.

“This impacts on debtors from gaining the debt relief they need, which is why we are requesting the industry across Scotland move to submit applications via BASYS only.

“BASYS prevents incomplete or inaccurate applications from proceeding. Using BASYS also means in the majority of cases bankruptcy can be awarded on the same day we receive the application.

“September this year will signal the end of paper bankruptcy applications and we are happy to work with any stakeholders to help them make this transition online before the deadline.”

The process for people and businesses owed money and who are seeking to have someone declared bankrupt, known as creditor petitions, will remain unchanged.

Between 1 April 2016 and 31 January 2017, there were 2,932 applications for bankruptcy received by AiB. Of these, 2,632 (90 per cent) of applications were submitted electronically through BASYS. Of the 300 received on paper, 75 were returned immediately due to incomplete, insufficient or inaccurate information.

After 30 September, clerical applications will only be accepted by AiB in the event of system failure. 

The online bankruptcy application system BASYS was introduced as part of the suite of measures brought in by the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Act in April 2015.

Other changes ushered in by the Act included mandatory money advice for people seeking access to statutory debt relief products, financial education and the introduction of a Common Financial Tool for money advisers, allowing them to quickly assess whether individuals can contribute towards repayment of their debts.