No First Meeting

August 2012

Introduction

1. When would the official receiver decide not to hold a first meeting?

The official receiver would not hold a meeting in cases where there are insufficient realisable assets to justify the appointment of an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) as trustee or liquidator by the creditors. However, where it is essential to get an IP into office at a very early stage (e.g. there is an ongoing business) an urgent application to the Secretary of State (SoS) for the appointment of a trustee or liquidator may be made. This is done without holding a meeting of creditors and a notice of the official receiver's decision not to hold a meeting (form NNM) must have been sent to court. For further information on this subject please refer to the Case Help Manual part: Insolvency Practitioners – Appointment by the Secretary of State

2. Who needs to be told of the decision?

The official receiver must give formal notice to all known creditors and (in companies) contributories and to the court. This is done by sending form NNM (Notice of No Meeting) (ISCIS ‘Docs’ tab). In the majority of cases the official receiver's report to creditors will be sent out with this notice. A proof of debt form may be issued where it is specifically requested by a creditor and where that creditor is unable or unwilling to access the online form through the Insolvency Service internet site at www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency.

3. What effect does sending the notices have?

Generally, when a bankruptcy order is made the official receiver becomes receiver and manager of the estate. Where the official receiver decides not to summon a meeting of creditors, he/she becomes trustee of the bankrupt's estate upon the date that the form NNM (ISCIS ‘Docs’ tab) is given to the court.

Even though the official receiver becomes liquidator of a company upon the making of a winding-up order at court, he/she is still required to make a decision as to whether or not to hold a meeting. In not holding a meeting, the official receiver is in effect deciding to remain as liquidator.

4. How is the meeting decision recorded on ISCIS

An ISCIS workflow task (‘Decide whether to appoint an IP for case’) will show up automatically on the workflow list of the case officer assigned to the case, the examiner assigned to the case and any staff assigned to the ‘meetings’ user group of the office concerned.  The local office will have procedures in place regarding who is responsible for issuing any notices of no meeting.  It is important that only the member of staff responsible for completing this task (or any other workflow task) ’takes’ this task, as once a task has been ‘taken’ and ‘completed’ it will no longer be visible in ISCIS.

Notes

  1. When completing the notice of no meeting (form NNM) (ISCIS ‘Docs’ tab) you will need to know whether the no meeting decision has been made especially so that an application can be made to the Secretary of State for the urgent appointment of an IP. The examiner will tell you if this is the case and a note should be made on ISCIS (‘Notes’ tab).

Where the case has not yet been transferred to a local court, care must be taken that the notice to the court is not addressed and issued to the High Court unless the official receiver is required to become trustee as a matter of urgency in which case the notice should be sent forthwith.  Where this official receiver is not required to become trustee as a matter of urgency the notice may be held back until the local court reference is known.

Where can I find out more?

Insolvency Act 1986:

Section 293 - Duty of official receiver to decide – bankruptcy

Section 136 - Duty of official receiver to decide – liquidation

Technical Manual:

Chapter 16 – Meetings

Case Help Manual:

Insolvency Practitioners - Appointment by the Secretary of State

Forms to be used:

NNM - Notice of No Meeting 

 

No first Meeting Flowchart  

 

Procedure

ISCIS tabs that must be used to record/view information are given in brackets, e.g. (‘Case Header’ tab).

  1. Receive instruction that there is to be no meeting. The examiner will have saved an approved Report to Creditors to the electronic case file on Wisdom (ISCIS ‘Docs’ tab, ‘Retrieve Fileplan’). Check that all the information on ISCIS is correct and updated including the creditors details (ISCIS ‘Creditors’ tab).
  2. Ensure that the notices will be dispatched within the 12 week deadline. If not, confirm with the B1 and prepare an application to court for an extension of time. Send 2 copies of the application to court for sealing, one of which will be kept by the court and the other returned to the official receiver. Upon return from court, a copy should be placed on the office file.
  3. Check that the creditors details on ISCIS (‘Creditors’ tab) are complete, including any references.  
  4. Prepare form NNM (Notice of No Meeting) on ISCIS (‘Docs’ tab) and send to all known creditors (and in a company, the contributories) together with a copy of the Report to Creditors (RTC). A notice of No Meeting (NNM) must be filed at court. In bankruptcy matters, this is important as the date that this notice is sent to court becomes the effective date of the official receiver as trustee.
  5. Where the reason for issuing a NNM is to facilitate an early IP appointment, prepare an application to the Secretary of State (SoS) following the guidelines given in the Case Help Manual part: Insolvency Practitioners – Appointment by the Secretary of State. At this stage, it may only be necessary to prepare 1 copy of the NNM for filing at court. In a bankruptcy, the official receiver is not able to apply to the SoS until this has been done. The examiner will inform you of how to proceed.
  6. Note ISCIS with the date that the Notice of No Meeting (NNM) was issued (‘Creditors’ tab)> ‘decision to appoint IP’ screen.
  7. Arrange issue of the notices.