Bankruptcy restrictions extended after “unacceptable behaviour”

Bankruptcy Blog

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A man has had his bankruptcy restriction order (BRO) extended after attempting to give away assets to family members.

The investigation, published by the Insolvency Service, was published in a report on Monday.

The former solicitor petitioned for his own bankruptcy in March 2017 declaring that he had no assets to pay creditors following the closure of his law practice.

But the investigation discovered that, in the six months leading up to his petition, the man made a number of transactions to dispose of assets in his name.

Reports show that he sold off commercial property worth £245,000, which he paid to his company Public Interest Lawyers Limited.

He also transferred ownership of his house worth £300,000, along with other valuable items, to a family trust.

Further transactions, including a second commercial property worth £305,000 and bank transfers worth £94,908 and £74,485, were also uncovered.

It is believed the official receiver has since been able to recover around £483,538 – including selling the man’s house.

The report says the total outstanding amount owed in his bankruptcy estate comes in at just under £6.5 million.

The Insolvency Service says restrictions arising from a bankruptcy last for 12 months, but the former solicitor’s have been extended to six years following his “unacceptable behaviour”.

Justin Dionne, Official Receiver from the Insolvency Service, said: “[the man] thought he could be clever by giving away his assets to his family members so that when he declared himself bankrupt there wasn’t anything to pay his creditors with.

“Sadly he was mistaken as all his activities were easily spotted and we have since been able to recover a substantial amount of money, even if it was in his family’s name.

“[His] activities should serve as a lesson and act as a deterrent to him and others from acting in the same way.”