A recent article in the Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2009/nov/13/bankruptcy-orders-ivas-online (13th. November) - outlines changes that the government want to make to the process of going bankrupt. I can understand the need for streamlining as the numbers are huge (140,000 insolvencies expected this year), but I'm worried that it will become a totally online experience with no requirement to visit the courts.
Even though beforehand I really didn't want to go to court I actually found the experience a worthwhile one. Not only was everyone very professional and, dare I say it, nice - but I believe that the part played by the judge was vital. Not only were his words remarkably comforting, but I see him as a sort of safety valve to the bankruptcy process.
Part of his role in all this is to actually look after our affairs, to make sure that this is the best option for us. I'm sure most of the judges hearings go exactly the same way, but if occasionally he looks at the details to someones proposed bankruptcy and thinks, 'no, this isn't right for this person', maybe recommending an IVA instead for example - isn't that worthwhile? Streamlining I'm all for, but don't take away the court visit!