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Ignore Statutory Demands and Bankruptcy Petitions at your peril

Within the last month we have received a number of instructions from individuals who wish to apply for Annulment of Bankruptcy Orders made against them recently.

In one case the bulk of the petition debt had been paid off but the Debtor missed the bankruptcy hearing due to being stuck in traffic and having no phone signal to let the Court know that he was on his way. In another case the Debtor had ignored both the Statutory Demand and Petition and if the Bankruptcy Order remains in place is at risk of losing his home. In each case had the Debtors sought legal advice it is likely that both Bankruptcy Orders could have been avoided.

Applications for Annulment of Bankruptcy are costly especially bearing in mind the level of fees which need to be paid to the Official Receiver and of course like all Court applications their outcome cannot be guaranteed. In addition the cost to the Debtor in terms of stress and anxiety cannot be underestimated.

We know that if you or a member of your family is served with a Statutory Demand or a Bankruptcy Petition it is tempting to try to sort it out yourself because legal costs are perceived as expensive. However, the cost of dealing with a Statutory Demand or a pending petition is likely to be considerably cheaper than an Annulment Application and the difficulty in dealing with the restrictions imposed on a Debtor once the Bankruptcy Order has been made which are likely to include freezing the Debtor’s bank account.

We can negotiate with Creditors, where appropriate, make applications to set aside Statutory Demands and represent you at Bankruptcy hearings. Please do not ignore or underestimate the importance of such documents.

We were also shocked to hear about the number of businesses who contacted these Debtors following the making of Bankruptcy Orders promising that they could sort everything out and make the debts go away. In one instance the client told us that they were being pressurised into selling their home to an investor introduced to him by the very business he had instructed to secure an annulment of the Bankruptcy Order. The investor would pay off the bankruptcy debts but make no payment to the Debtor even though there was considerable equity in the property and the Debtor would then be homeless.

Following the service of a Statutory Demand or the making of a Bankruptcy Order it is not surprising that people are at a very low ebb and may be embarrassed to talk to family and friends, but it is important that you obtain independent and impartial advice.

If you have been served with a Statutory Demand or a Bankruptcy Petition and need some assistance then contact Fiona Gaskell.