Project Description

The Trustee in Bankruptcy

The issue

A bankrupt who had failed to co-operate with either the Official Receiver or the Trustee in Bankruptcy. No interview had been attended upon, all mail to the known address was being returned as un-delivered, no books records or papers had been surrendered, the address was inaccessible by traditional means, and the bankrupt was believed to be trading a business with considerable assets. Furthermore, the Trustee had no funds with which to pursue any action.

The solution

Our enquiry agents attended the known address, and found it to be a detached residence surrounded by 8ft high walls and guarded by free-running dogs. The external mailbox had been intentionally sealed, and it was clear that numerous vehicles of significant value were within the grounds of the property. Further enquiries established that the bankrupt was in business as a car salesman, still operating from the home address despite the Bankruptcy order.

Our barrister was instructed to attend the High Court to seek a Warrant under s.365 Insolvency Act 1986. The Warrant was duly granted, empowering our enforcement officers and local constables to enter the property and not only seize the vehicles that had already been sighted, but also to search the property for all books, records and papers relating to the bankrupts affairs and dealings. In executing the warrant, we were able to seize 10 motor vehicles, numerous further assets, and also locate paperwork that led to several further vehicles, two local properties, and one overseas holiday residence.

The result

Creditors rights were protected, and significant assets were seized and sold. Our costs were paid from proceeds of sale; meaning the Trustee had no risk or liability. Our robust action in adverse circumstances achieved a result that we believe no other firm could have hoped to achieve – underlining the importance of having both legal and enforcement services under one roof.

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