Have you been served with a statutory demand or a bankruptcy petition? Or has a bankruptcy order already been made against you?
If so, is your Trustee or the Official Receiver seeking a sale of your house or other property? We can help you. We are solicitors specialising in these complex and potentially devastating situations.
Ignoring your creditors and debts will only make the situation worse and it is crucial to seek specialist professional advice at an early stage.
We are specialist insolvency solicitors and will assess your situation and work with you discussing the potential effects and implications of bankruptcy. You may have grounds to challenge the statutory demand or bankruptcy petition. We may also be able to suggest alternative measures - bankruptcy is not the only option!
Our expertise includes advising on the following:
The decision to file for bankruptcy is understandably a last resort when financial issues have spiralled out of control. It is a big decision to make, but can help to put an end to issues caused by considerable debt. If you have a large amount of debt and want to discuss how bankruptcy could help you, contact us today
- Statutory demands
A Statutory Demand is a formal demand for money due and it is usually the first step taken when making someone bankrupt. In order for a creditor to rely on a Statutory Demand the debt owed must be at least £750. If you have recently been issued with a Statutory Demand, you may want to speak to a solicitor about your rights. Speak to us today
- Annulment of bankruptcy
Once a Bankruptcy Order has been made it is possible for it to be annulled. This effectively returns the bankrupt to his original position. In other words the bankruptcy is treated as if it had not happened. An annulment can only be obtained by obtaining an Order from the Court and there are two main grounds upon which to apply for an annulment. The first is that the Order should not have been made, the second is that the bankruptcy debts and expenses have either been paid in full, or secured for, to the satisfaction of the Court. It is also possible to obtain an annulment of a Bankruptcy Order where a bankrupt subsequently enters into a Voluntary Arrangement which is approved and accepted by the creditors.
An annulment on the ground that the Bankruptcy Order ought not to have been made is not quite as simple as it sounds. It is not open to a bankrupt simply to argue that it is unfair, or unreasonable, to make a bankruptcy Order. Usually for applications on this ground to have some success they should be based upon either a technical defect with the legal process, such as that the debt had already been paid, or was less than £750. The other circumstance in which this application may be successful is if the Order was made on the basis of evidence which turned out to be untrue. This may be because the creditor has agreed to give the debtor some time to pay and therefore agreed an adjournment but that that instruction has not been passed on to the creditor's representative attending the Court and as a result a Bankruptcy Order has been made. The application may also succeed if the Petition or notice of adjournment was not served and the debtor was unaware of the hearing. This ground is a discretionary remedy on the part of the Court and the circumstances in which it can be used are relatively limited.
- Individual Voluntary Arrangements
A Voluntary Arrangement is an arrangement which an individual enters into with its creditors. It has been widely used as an alternative to a debtor entering into an informal arrangement with creditors and a debtor's own bankruptcy Petition.
An individual Voluntary Arrangement allows a debtor to enter into an arrangement which is binding on all of the creditors, provided sufficient vote for the arrangement and it does not contain the same restrictions as would follow from the making of a bankruptcy Order. Consequently this has become a very popular way of dealing with debts.
In order for someone to enter into a Voluntary Arrangement, they will need the assistance of a licensed insolvency practitioner who will help them to draw up their proposal and will become the Nominee and arrange the necessary creditors' meeting. If the creditors approve the Voluntary Arrangement, then the Nominee will usually become the Supervisor of the Arrangement and maintain control of the Arrangement during its lifetime.
- Corporate insolvency
Your business is important to you. You have invested your precious time and money to make it what it is. It provides an income for you and your loved ones. To lose it would be devastating both for you, your family and employees. Therefore to be faced with the threat of the business or company being wound up is every business owners nightmare. It is crucial to seek specialist professional legal advice at an early stage - remember, the longer you leave it, the more potentially perilous the position may become for you and the business!
- Consequences of bankruptcy for you and your family including action by the Trustee to take possession of your home and recovery of assets
Once a Bankruptcy Order has been made the bulk of the property and assets belonging to the bankrupt automatically vest in their Trustee in Bankruptcy. This is referred to as the bankrupt's estate. Not only does this include all property belonging to the bankrupt at the commencement of the bankruptcy but it also includes any property which the bankrupt acquires during the time that he is bankrupt. This is referred to as after acquired property. There are some exceptions to this as a bankrupt is normally allowed to keep the tools, books, vehicles and other equipment which is needed for him personally to carry out his employment or business. These are generally referred to as the "tools of the trade”. In addition, the bankrupt's personal belongings, such as clothing, bedding, furniture and household equipment needed by the bankrupt and his family, are exempt but only those items which satisfy basic domestic needs so whilst the bankrupt may be able to retain the beds, table and chairs, he will not be able to retain his collection of first edition books or the impressionist masterpiece inherited from his eccentric great uncle! The other exception is property which the bankrupt holds on trust for any other person.