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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: UK Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 3463
Experience:  2 Years Insolvency Litigation
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I expext next week to be given an order at Leeds High Court

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I expext next week to be given an order at Leeds High Court of Justice against an individual who owes me over £100,000. He does not plan to attend court (says he is depressed) and has not appointed a barrister to represent him. My solicitor and barrister will be in court to represent my case.

Unless my solicitor can get some arrangement of payment (very unlikely) then I must consider making him bankrupt. He says he is broke but has 3 homes and I believe "hidden" assets. My solicitor says he is not an expert in bankruptcy. What type of person/company should I search for to seek to recover the money owed? A specialist solicitor, an accountant or other specialist? He says he also owes £50,000 to a bank. Will they have precedence over me in making a claim? In short is there an order of claiments when he is made bankrupt? And what are unsecured creditors?

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Does he own any assets in his name or joint names?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Without investigation we do not know if assets are in his name or joint names.

Suspect that the family home which he says is mortgaged to the hilt is in his and wife's name. He has a rich wife.

His flat we suspect is in his name but claims it is up to the hilt in mortgage. His mother's home (died about 9 months ago) he has sold without the agreement of his sister who is 50% beneficiary. This is recent.

Suspect he has sqirralled away money overseas but how can we trace?

To search the land registry is only about £5 a go and that is where you should start.

You may need an order to obtain information after Judgment or hire a private investigator.

Again you would need a PI to search overseas. It can be done but it is quite specialist and it will not be cheap.

But start with the land registry and get an order to obtain information.

I hope this helps.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it possible for you to answer my query rather than answering your own question to me?




Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

Firstly an unsecured creditor, is a creditor who's debt is not secured against any assets belonging to the debtor. You will be an unsecured creditor.

Secondly the bank probably has the debt secured against the debtors home - that means that they would only have precedence over you as far as their debt is secured against property and relative to the value of that property. Is it a mortgage the bank has given the debtor?

You need to go and see and insolvency practitioner. If the debtor is hiding assets you can petition for his bankruptcy and then appoint your own trustee in bankruptcy (who will most likely be the insolvency practitioner) who will have special powers under the Insolvency Act 1986 to investigate the debtors affairs. He can do things like set aside transactions that have been done to deliberately avoid payment of creditors (e.g transfers of nil value from husband to wife) or unwind trusts and investigate hidden bank accounts. When the trustee has ascertained where all the bankrupts assets are and clawed bank anything "unlawfully transferred" they will then be able to make a distribution to the creditors.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You may be interested to know the result of the trial before a High court Judge yeserday. The defendant did not turn up or appoint a barrister or solicitor to represent him. The trial procedure went ahead and I was given judgement in totallity. Having won the case I am now in the position which I originally raised with you. The defendant claims he is broke. Therefore my questions were to establish what action I should take from now on.

My solicitor is negotiating with our company accountant on best methods. The seem to suggest that today a statutory demand be issued. Negotiate as much money as possible meantime and if the sum does not match the claim then issue bankruptcy proceedings.

Does this make sense?


Thank you.

Congratulations are in order that you were not dragged through expensive litigation.

In relation to enforcement - yes that does make sense. The statutory demand contains a "penal notice". This will give the debtor 21 days to pay, if he does not pay in 21 days you can then proceed to petition for bankruptcy. When you petition for bankruptcy is issued you can use this as an opportunity to propose to appoint your own trustee in bankruptcy. You can then guide this trustee to where you believe the assets are hidden.

The effect of the Penal Notice will seriously test whether he is actually broke and has no assets. If he has assets in his name that have not been dissipated and he is desperate to keep them, then within the 21 days he will be more motivated to reach some form of settlement or payment plan with you other wise he risks bankruptcy.

Kind regards

Alex J., Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 3463
Experience: 2 Years Insolvency Litigation
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