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Other Information > Help to find support and advice 

Contact us if you need information or have a query

If you need more information or have a particular query about a service, please contact the relevant Official Receiver, Redundancy Payments office or Headquarters section (details below).

Insolvency Enquiry Line

If you have a general query about insolvency you should contact the Insolvency Enquiry Line by e-mail at or by telephone on 0845 602 9848, Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm (except Bank Holidays). The enquiry line provides general information on insolvency legislation, procedures including the work of official receivers offices. You may be able to find the answer you require on line or find enough information to make any subsequent enquiry more specific. The Insolvency Enquiry Line (IEL) Reference Guide contains general information covering most topics commonly encountered by the IEL.  This guide can be accessed by clicking here.

Note: The Insolvency Service and Official Receivers cannot provide legal or financial advice. You should seek this from a Citizens Advice Bureau, a solicitor, a qualified accountant, an authorised insolvency practitioner a licensed conveyancer or reputable financial adviser or advice centre.

Section 216 Applications 

If under section 216 of the Insolvency Act 1986 you are making an application to court for permission to use a prohibited company name, you should send a copy of your application and witness statement to the Insolvency Service at the following address: 

Hotline andS216(3) Applications Team
3rd Floor
Cannon House
18 Priory Queensway
Birmingham B4 6FD

Further information can be found in the publication Re-use of a company name after liquidation

Official Receiver contacts

The Official Receiver deals with the investigation and administration of bankruptcies and companies in compulsory liquidation. If you do not know where your local office is or how to contact it by e-mail, you can find the relevant address on our website at

Redundancy Payment contacts

The Redundancy Payments offices (RPOs) assess and pay statutory entitlements to redundancy and associated payments when an employer cannot or will not pay its employees.  If you do not know where your local RPO is or how to contact it by email, you can:

l find the relevant address on our website at;

l telephone the Redundancy Payments Helpline on 0845 145 0004 (calls are charged at local rates);

l email the Redundancy Payments Helpline at

Our publication 'A Guide to The Insolvency Service' provides background information on our work.

Headquarters Section contacts
Section  What we do
Estate Accounts Directorate (EAD)


EAD provides an estate accounting and investment service to Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) and Official Receivers (ORs) using the Insolvency Services Account.  

insolvency practitioner Policy Section
Insolvency practitioner Policy Section is responsible for all policy matters relating to the authorisation and regulation of IPs, including the regulation of the Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs). The section is the main point of contact with the RPBs and other representative groups from the insolvency 
profession generally. It issues guidance to IPs and advises ministers, officials and the public on the regulation of IPs.


Secretariat is responsible for our Strategy and Corporate Plan. It is also responsible for:
  • taking forward customer service issues including Charter  Mark;
  • our User Satisfaction Index; 
  • the Complaints Procedure; 
  • other quality initiatives;
  • the website; 
  • producing the Agency Annual Report and Accounts; 
    providing management support to our senior management 
Finance Section
Finance Section is responsible for handling our payments and receipts (except insolvency estate payments which are handled by our IP Banking).


Policy Unit is responsible for all aspects of insolvency policy for England and Wales and for certain aspects of corporate insolvency policy in Scotland. It: 
  • monitors the operation of insolvency legislation; 
  • advises to ministers, officials and the public on insolvency policy; and
  • considers the insolvency aspects of other legislation, including European Union initiatives. 
Human Resources
Human Resources (HR) is responsible for reviewing, designing, and implementing HR policies, procedures and practices.  It administers The Service’s personnel function and ensures the organisation has a skilled, innovative and professional workforce.


Corporate Governance Section (formerly The Inspectorate) 
The Corporate Governance Section is responsible for corporate governance reviews of Official Receivers' offices and Headquarters sections, and for developing corporate governance and quality assurance policies throughout The Service. 


Redundancy Payments Department (RPD)
RPD provides policy advice and briefing to ministers, officials and other government departments on the employment aspects of redundancy, insolvency, and employment status and on the Compensation Scheme for Former Trawlermen. RPD also deals with correspondence from the general public concerning redundancy matters. 


insolvency practitioners Unit (IPU)
IPU is responsible for:
  • reviewing IP disqualification reports;
  • the authorisation and regulation of IPs authorised by the Secretary of State (SoS), including monitoring their work and considering complaints against them;
  • ensuring that IPs comply with various statutory duties, including the submission of disqualification returns;
  • undertaking certain delegated functions on behalf of the Secretary of State, such as: 
  • maintaining the register of individual voluntary arrangements; 
  • dealing with applications for the agreement in principle of appointments of office holders and approval of such applications; and
  • dealing with applications to sanction the powers of trustees and liquidators in bankruptcy and compulsory liquidation where there is no creditors' committee; 
  • ensuring the accuracy of The Insolvency Service's database of cases and of IPs;
  • monitoring the Recognised Professional Bodies. 
Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate has a range of responsibilities involving misconduct and wrongdoing uncovered by those who handle insolvencies.

Official Receivers (ORs) and insolvency practitioners (IPs) submit reports on the conduct of directors of insolvent companies. Where it is in the public interest, ORs will be authorised to take disqualification action or, in the case of IP reports, Disqualification Investigation Teams will carry out enquiries with a view to taking such action.

ORs submit reports alleging criminal offences discovered in bankruptcies and companies, and IPs submit reports in voluntary liquidations. Where appropriate, the Directorate will liaise with the DTI's prosecuting authority with a view to the investigation and prosecution of offences.

When an OR considers that a bankrupt should be subject to the bankruptcy restrictions beyond their usual discharge date, the OR will submit a report with a view to applying to the court for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order for a period of between 2 and 15 years. Where it is in public interest, the OR will be authorised to make the application.

If a member of the public thinks that a disqualified director or a person subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order is acting in breach of their disqualification or restriction, they can complain by calling the Enforcement Hotline on 0845 601 3546.


We maintain a website at The website contains information on insolvency legislation; the location of Official Receivers' and Redundancy Payments offices; consultation documents that we issue; and answers to frequently asked questions.  If you have any questions/comments about the website, please fill in the feedback questionnaire on the site or email us at

Below is a list of the main publications issued by The Insolvency Service. A full list is also available on our website.

You can order these from the DTI Publications Order Line:

Information about The Service

The Insolvency Service Charter
Complaints procedure - Information on making a complaint

Guide to Bankruptcy
A Guide to Creditors
A Guide for Directors
Bankruptcy Restrictions Orders
Fast Track Voluntary Arrangements
When will my bankruptcy end?
What will happen to my home?
What will happen to my bank account?
Can my bankruptcy be cancelled?
Individual Insolvency Register
What happens when you are interviewed by the Official Receiver?
What will happen to my pension?
Changes to the bankruptcy law under The Enterprise Act 2002

Information about disqualification procedures

Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and Failed Companies
Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and Disqualified Directors
The Disqualified Directors Hotline

Insolvency practitioners

Trustees and liquidators in bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations 

Dealing with debt

How to petition for your own bankruptcy
How to make someone bankrupt
How to wind up a company that owes you money
How to wind up your own company
How to wind up a partnership

Information on redundancy

Redundancy and insolvency - A Guide for Employees 

Redundancy & Insolvency - A guide for insolvency practitioners to employees rights on the insolvency of their employer

Redundancy & Insolvency - Help for employers in financial difficulty

The following publication is available on the DTI website

Redundancy Payments (PL808)

You can also get the publication from your local Job Centre Plus office. 

Redundancy forms

Claim for payments from the National Insurance Fund (Form RP1)
Advance notification of redundancies (Form HR1)

These forms are available from our website

Some publications are also available on the website in Urdu and Traditional Chinese, you can find these on our website. Additionally they are available on audio tape, on request, from Official Receiver offices.

Annex A

These are not the only organisations that may be able to help you. The Insolvency Service cannot accept responsibility for the information, advice, or other services provided by these organisations. 

Who are they?  How they can help? How can you contact or find them?
Advisory Conciliation And Arbitration Service (ACAS) ACAS is a public body funded by taxpayers. It offers free help and information on work-related issues.

Helpline: 08457 474747 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm 

Website: The ACAS website contains details of the local ACAS offices.

Business Debtline Business Debtline is a registered charity that provides a free telephone debt-counselling service for the self-employed and small businesses facing financial hardship. Advice is free, independent and confidential.

Helpline: 0800 197 6026

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10am–4pm.


Citizens Advice 


Citizens Advice is a registered charity that offers free, independent and confidential advice from more than 700 locations throughout the UK.


Helpline: 0207 833 2181 to find your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am–6pm

Website: which contains a directory of local CABs.

For advice, visit the CAB Advice Guide website at
Community Legal Service (CLS) The Legal Services Commission (LSC) runs the Community Legal Service (CLS) and administers what was previously known as legal aid. The CLS Directory lists solicitors and advice agencies in your area.

Helpline: 0845 345 4345

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9am–5.30pm


You can find a CLS-approved legal advisor using the CLS Directory, which is available at your local library or on the website. The website is available in English, Welsh, Urdu, Bengali, Chinese, Punjabi, Turkish and Gujarati.
Consumer Credit CounsellingService (CCCS)


The CCCS is a registered charity dedicated to providing free, confidential counselling and money-management help to families and individuals in financial distress. They provide counselling on budgeting; advice on the wise use of credit; and, where appropriate, achievable plans to repay debts.

Helpline: 0800 138 1111

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am–8pm

Consumer Direct Consumer Direct is the government-funded telephone and online service offering information and advice on consumer issues. Consumer Direct is funded by the Office of Fair Trading and delivered in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards Services.

Helpline: 08454 04 05 06.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am–6.30pm. Saturday 9am–1pm.

Lawyers For Your Business (LFYB)  LFYB is a Law Society initiative that represents some 1,400 firms of solicitors in England and Wales who have come together to ensure that businesses, especially smaller owner-managed ones, get access to sound legal advice when they need it.

Helpline: 0207 405 9075

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am–5.30pm. You will be sent a list of the member solicitors in your area (including information on specialist areas of work and languages spoken) and a voucher for a free consultation.

Website: click here

National Debtline National Debtline provides free, confidential and independent advice over the telephone for anyone in financial difficulty. Callers will receive a free self-help information pack.

Helpline: 0808 808 4000

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am–9pm and Saturdays 9.30am–1pm

Small Business Service (SBS) SBS is a government agency that has been established to help small businesses and provide them with a single source of high-quality information and advice.

Helpline: 0207 215 5000

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am–5.30pm