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Bankruptcy and Insolvency

Bankruptcy is a procedure that is available when a person is unable to pay his/her debts. To be made bankrupt, the court must issue a bankruptcy order. There are several ways that bankruptcy proceedings can be commenced but the most common ways are by:

  • A creditor's petition—any creditor (on their own or jointly with other creditors) who the debtor owes £750 or more to can apply to make the debtor bankrupt. Before they do this, they would usually serve the debtor with a notice called a statutory demand. If the statutory demand is not paid, this demonstrates that the debtor is unable to pay his/her debts and a bankruptcy petition can be issued by the creditor. 
  • A debtor's petition—the debtor can issue their own petition if they can show the court that they are unable to pay their debts.
  • A  supervisor's petition— this is issued by the supervisor of the debtor's individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) where the IVA is in default.

When a bankruptcy order is made the debtor’s financial affairs are put in the hands of the Official Receiver or a Trustee in Bankruptcy who will divide certain assets of the debtor amongst those creditors who have a valid claim. The debtor is usually discharged (freed) from bankruptcy after 12 months.

The bankruptcy will be advertised in the debtor’s local newspaper to enable creditors to make a claim against the debtor.

Bankruptcy still carries a social stigma and an undischarged bankrupt is excluded from certain occupations such as acting as a  lawyer, accountant, MP, director of a company or a financial advisor.  

Our insolvency litigation team is skilled and experienced in all aspects of individual insolvency litigation. We represent both bankrupts and their spouses, as well as dealing with a large amount of work for insolvency practitioners and Trustees in Bankruptcy. Our work includes:

  • Issuing and setting aside statutory demands.
  • Issuing and defending bankruptcy petitions.
  • Bankruptcy annulment.
  • Challenging the Trustee in Bankruptcy’s fees.
  • Disclaimers and Validation orders.
  • Bankruptcy and the family home including dealing with possession and orders for sale.

For a preliminary discussion please contact Amanda Mehlin or contact a member of the insolvency litigation team.