The High Court can declare you bankrupt by issuing a 'bankruptcy order' after it's been presented with a 'bankruptcy petition'. A petition may be presented by: one or more creditors the debtor the supervisor of, or a person bound by, an individual voluntary agreement. Bankruptcy normally lasts for one year. After this time, you'll be 'discharged' from your bankruptcy regardless of how much you still owe. Your discharge could happen earlier if you co-operate fully with the Official Receiver. However, in a small number of cases and if you've behaved irresponsibly (for example, by not cooperating), bankruptcy can last for much more than one year.