Bankruptcy Restriction Orders
Bankruptcy Restriction Orders (BROs) are intended to protect the public from dishonest or otherwise culpable bankrupts, after they have been discharged from bankruptcy.
BROs are made by the court when the court is satisfied that it in the public interest to do so, for example when the bankrupt has failed to keep records or when they have disposed of assets in order to protect them from being used by the trustee in bankruptcy to pay creditors.
Bankruptcy Restriction Orders are issued for a number of reasons but generally because the bankrupt has either acted in a dishonest way or in a way as to contribute to knowingly making their situation worse.
Examples of conduct that can lead to a BRO include:
- Incurring more debt knowing you cannot pay the money back
- Selling assets for low value or even giving them away to avoid lenders acquiring them
- Giving family or friends priority when settling debts above banks or other lenders
- Spending extravagantly, gambling or making silly decisions with your money
- Neglecting your business or work so that your debts increase
- Fraudulent behaviour
- Carrying on trading or conducting your business when you knew you were insolvent
A Bankruptcy Restriction Order will last between two and fifteen years depending on the level of dishonest conduct by the bankrupt.
The bankrupt may decide to offer the trustee in bankruptcy a Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking (BRU) as an alternative to going to court.
Bankrupts subject to BROs or BRUs are not allowed to do various things, such as:
- Obtain credit over a certain limit without disclosing that they are subject to a BRO
- Trade in a name other than that under which the individual was made bankrupt
- Work as an insolvency practitioner, a company director or a Member of Parliament
You are obliged to inform the Official Receiver if you come into money; for example, you are left some inheritance. You must also inform them if you change jobs or your level of salary changes.
When you are no longer bankrupt, these restrictions will no longer apply. It is always advisable to seek the legal advice of a professional to protect your future interests.
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