We specialise in challenging trustees’ costs.  We scrutinise the manner in which trustees’ costs are incurred…
and have reduced these through the process of settlement discussions, often without the need to proceed with expensive court action.

We routinely write to trustees in bankruptcy and require them to provide us with specific information in relation to their time costs, including breakdowns and supporting time schedules. We then consider these documents carefully and independently assess these costs.  We regularly successfully renegotiate these costs without the need for expensive court action and we find that trustees and their solicitors very often adopt a sensible stance after we become involved by recognising the need to significantly lower costs.

As part of this negotiation process in reducing trustees and their solicitor’s costs, we focus upon the need for the work being carried out, the personnel deployed on the case and the amount of time spent.

Under the current law, only creditors and the bankrupt have a right to challenge a trustees’ remuneration.  However, in exceptional circumstances, we also act for the bankrupt’s wife in bringing a costs challenge where she wishes to annul her husband’s bankruptcy order and pay the claims and costs of the bankruptcy in full to save the family home.

Bankruptcy normally lasts for one year, although the Official Receiver or Trustee can extend this period if the bankrupt is seen not to be cooperating by the Official Receiver or Trustee making an application to suspend the discharge. This is usually done by the Official Receiver or Trustee obtaining a Bankruptcy Restriction Order, postponing the bankrupt from obtaining his discharge. You can check whether you have been automatically discharged by checking the Individual Insolvency Register (IIR) .

After the court makes a bankruptcy order, the bankrupt is required to attend the Official Receiver to complete a questionnaire (Preliminary Information Questionnaire). This booklet asks for a bankrupt to set out his income, assets and liabilities. The Official Receiver usually records the interview and then decides whether to appoint a Trustee in Bankruptcy to sell assets to pay creditors.

When a person is made bankrupt, his assets pass to the Official Receiver/Trustee in Bankruptcy. This will not affect the ownership of any co-owner, such as a spouse, however they will be unable to sell the property without the Trustee’s permission.

The Official Receiver or Trustee will not sell the family home during the first year of the bankruptcy and have three years from the date of the bankruptcy order to make an application to sell the home. Should the Trustee not make an application in this three year period, the property will revert back to the bankrupt. However, this three year rule only applies to the family home.

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