Bankruptcy can only be declared by a court. In order to be declared bankrupt the court must be convinced that the bankrupt is no longer able to manage their own affairs and are unlikely to be able to pay off their creditors. A bankruptcy order can be sought by a debtor themselves, or it can be sought by a creditor, so long as they are owed more than £750.
Once a bankruptcy order is granted by a court the management of their financial affairs passes to the trustee, known as the Official Receiver (OR). The Official Receiver is charged with dealing with creditors, selling any assets the bankrupt has access to, and settling as much of the debts as possible. The Official Receiver has the power to close down any business owned by the bankrupt, dismiss any staff employed by that business, and can also seize and sell any luxury possessions the bankrupt may own.
If you are a creditor and are owed money by a bankrupt you will be notified within 12 weeks of the date of a bankruptcy order by the Official Receiver if they intend to hold a meeting of creditors. This will only be held if there are significant assets involved. The Official Receiver will also send creditors a report including estimates of the assets of the bankrupt, and the causes of their failure to repay their debts. If you believe that any information is being withheld, then you should raise this with the Official Receiver.
You are no longer able to pursue a legal claim against a bankrupt, and you must not pursue them directly. All communication relating to the monies owed to you must be made with the Official Receiver. You should always consult a solicitor for legal advice prior to attempting to recover money from a bankrupt.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on recovering debt from a bankrupt, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.
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