Fresh Bankruptcy Guidance issued. Creditors beware of acting in haste without a Judgment

16 May 2022

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Fresh Guidance has been issued recently by the High Court in Belfast on the issuing of Bankruptcy Petitions by Creditors.

Unless the Master has otherwise permitted, the general thrust of the new Guidance is that Creditor Petitions can only be lodged where the debt claimed on the face of the Petition is grounded on a court judgment. It has also been directed that a copy of the judgment must be lodged in court at the same time as the judgment.

For any new matter wherein a Statutory Demand was never previously served, the Creditor must serve a Statutory Demand and cannot do so until after 1st June 2022.

The full guidance can be found here: https://rb.gy/xbna4x

This effectively means that given the summer vacation generally taken by the Bankruptcy Court, save for a small number of review days for historic matters, new Petitions in Bankruptcy will not generally be listed for initial review hearing until September 2022.

As anyone who regularly works in the Bankruptcy Court will be aware, the Bankruptcy Court was never permitted to be used as a debt collecting court by proxy. This latest Guidance reinforces that fact and means that any creditor wishing to pursue a debt against an individual ought in the first instance (for the time being at least), commence proceedings for judgment initially.

For any queries on this latest Guidance or for any advice on recovering monies due from a debtor, please do not hesitate to contact Darren Toombs.

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