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A route into bankruptcy for low-earners

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How to apply for MAP

MAP (Minimal Asset Process) is a form of bankruptcy available to Scottish residents who have low value assets and have no spare money or who are only in receipt of benefits to make payments towards unsecured lenders once all essential bills have been paid. Those eligible can apply for MAP bankruptcy (also known as MAP sequestration) which would write off unsecured debts in a shorter time than full bankruptcy (normally 6 months). The application fee is lower than for full bankruptcy and the administration process has been simplified. It replaced LILA (Low Income, Low Asset) scheme on April 1st 2015.

You can apply for bankruptcy through MAP the same way you would apply for a regular bankruptcy - as long as you meet certain qualifying criteria. You'll have to send the relevant forms to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), which will show them details of your financial situation.

If you're considering applying for bankruptcy through MAP, don't forget to see what other help is available to you. Request a callback for a quick assessment of which debt solutions could help, or call our friendly advisors on 0161 667 2599.

Who can apply for MAP?

You can aply for MAP if:

  • You are unable to repay your unsecured debts in full within a reasonable period of time
  • You don't own any assets worth more than £1,000 each, except a car (which can be worth up to £3,000 if it’s essential). In total, your assets should come to no more than £2,000.
  • You don’t own, or jointly own, a property or area of land.
  • Your unsecured debts have become completely unaffordable or you’ve been on a benefits based income for at least 6 months
  • You have a debt level between £1,500 and £17,000
  • You have not been bankrupt in the last 5 years or if you have been bankrupt under MAP you cannot apply again for 10 years.

MAP - how it works

Remember, MAP is a form of bankruptcy. As such, it will work the same way as any other bankruptcy. You'll have to pay an application fee of £90 to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB), who will then assess your case (this can be paid in four instalments, if necessary).

If your bankruptcy is agreed, all payments and interest on your unsecured debts will be frozen with immediate effect. Your lenders will be legally prevented from pursuing you any further for those debts.

You will normally be 'discharged' automatically from MAP after six months, at which point the debts included in your bankruptcy will be written off. A further six months of credit restrictions then follow. For example, you can't borrow more than £2,000 without telling the lender you have been made bankrupt, and you can't hold certain job roles (such as director of a company). Records of your bankruptcy will appear on the Individual Insolvency Register until three months after your bankruptcy has ended.

Remember: bankruptcy is a legal process that will affect your credit rating in the short to medium term and could affect it in the longer term. This is likely to make borrowing more money or opening a bank account more difficult during that time.

Learn more about how MAP works.

How long does bankruptcy through MAP take?

You'll be usually be discharged after six months and then subjected to credit restrictions for a further six months.

Is MAP bankruptcy right for me?

Bankruptcy through MAP could be right for you if you have no other way of repaying your debts.

It should always be considered a last resort, once you've looked at all the other options for tackling your debts. You can only make an application after speaking to a recognised money adviser.

We specialise in advising on and providing insolvency solutions for Scottish residents. Give us a call on 0161 667 2599 if you'd like to go over your options.

MAP advice

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If you have joint debts that you can't afford, you could both enter into a Trust Deed. Although joint Trust Deeds don't exist, both your Trust Deeds will take your joint debts into account.

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