Debtor’s Petition – Should it continue to be a Court-based Process?

Currently, if a debtor wishes to submit his/her own petition for bankruptcy, he/she must go through the Court process.

We recently attended a Consultation Group at the Insolvency Service in London where representatives of lenders, insolvency practitioners, the regulatory bodies, the free advice sector and others were invited to discuss whether it would be appropriate/acceptable to allow Official Receiver’s to deal with debtor’s bankruptcy petitions and, in effect, to remove it from being a Court-based process. In reality it is not necessary to have Court involvement in matters other than dispute resolution matters.

It was of great interest to us that many of those who wanted the system to remain Court based – rather than be handled by the Official Receiver’s as was proposed – had absolutely no knowledge of the current procedure but were strongly averse to any change. Considerable time was spent discussing/debating the issue of proof of identity. It seemed beyond many delegates to understand that no proof of identity was requested by the Court in the current system, so why it was an issue was beyond me….

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