Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 13:43 UK

Ex-Kitten Katona is made bankrupt

Kerry Katona
Miss Katona was given the deadline two weeks ago

Former Atomic Kitten pop star Kerry Katona has been declared bankrupt at the High Court.

The action against Miss Katona, 27, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, followed her failure to pay the final 82,000 of a 417,000 tax bill.

Mr Registrar Nicholls agreed to the bankruptcy order after giving her legal team an extra hour to come up with the final balance on Thursday.

The petition was issued against the magazine columnist in January.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) insisted on pressing ahead with the bankruptcy petition despite Miss Katona's efforts to reduce the bill.

She was not in court to hear her representative, Luke Harris, ask the registrar to put the matter back again.

Bankruptcy: The traditional way of escaping overwhelming debt. Ends after one year, but you are likely to lose all your assets including your house to pay something to the creditors
Individual Voluntary Arrangements: A deal between you and your creditors, overseen by an insolvency practitioner. Less stigma, less chance of losing your home, but involves paying some of your debts in one go or over a number of years

Mr Harris said funds were available but cheques had not been cleared in time, but said as soon as the money was ready it would be brought to court and handed over.

But when called back just before 1300 BST, Mr Harris said he was "not in a position to assist further".

The case had already been before the court four times, and two weeks ago Mr Registrar Nicholls set Thursday as a deadline for Miss Katona to find the money.

Miss Katona, originally from Warrington, first rose to fame as a member of the girl group Atomic Kitten in the late 1990s.

She left the band in 2001 and went on to win reality TV programme I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here in 2004.

The mother-of-four is married to taxi driver Mark Croft and has two children with former Westlife singer Bryan McFadden.

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