Part 9 Less common notices to be issued and actions to be taken
The official receiver must give immediate notice of the bankruptcy order to the trustee of any wills and settlements under which the bankrupt has or appears to have, a reversionary or other interest. Such notice must be given even if it appears that the interest is mortgaged or charged to its full value. If the official receiver becomes trustee of the estate, notice of the bankruptcy order must be followed by a further notice sent, in duplicate, asking the trustees of the will to return one copy receipted at the foot. This action should protect the trustee in bankruptcy’s rights against mortgagees, who may not have received notification of the bankruptcy order, and to protect a potential asset.
Where the bankrupt has assigned his/her book debts to a creditor the official receiver should send notice to the assignee. An assignment of book debts is void against the trustee if they are not paid before the presentation of the bankruptcy petition unless the assignment was registered under the Bill of Sales Act 1878 [Note 1]. See paragraphs 4.171 to 4.173 for further information on dealing with book debts.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against a practising solicitor the official receiver should notify the Solicitors Regulation Authority, address as per Annex 1. As a result of the bankruptcy order the bankrupt may lose his/her licence to practice. The official receiver should also read paragraphs 59.87 to 59.94 for more information regarding solicitors.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against a barrister the official receiver should notify the General Council of the Bar. The contact details are provided in Annex 1. Further information on dealing with barristers and their client files is contained in paragraphs 59.40 to 59.42. The Bar Council website is available here. The Bar Standards Board website is available here.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) expect one of their members to notify them of any bankruptcy order made against him/her. In those instances where the official receiver has doubts that the bankrupt will do so, or the bankrupt has not surrendered to the proceedings, he/she should notify the relevant body. The addresses of the ACCA and ICAEW are included in Chapter 59, Annex A. For further information on dealing with a bankrupt accountant see paragraphs 59.33 to 59.39.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against an insolvency practitioner the official receiver should send details of the order to the Insolvency Practitioner Unit in Birmingham initially by telephone with confirmation in writing. This action is required even where the bankrupt ceased to practice prior to the bankruptcy order. Insolvency Practitioner Unit will notify the appropriate authorising body of the order and obtain details of any action being taken to deal with the insolvency practitioner’s affairs. Further guidance on the action on dealing with an insolvency practitioner’s case can be found in Chapter 55.
The official receiver should send notification of a bankruptcy order made against a member, either of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, or the Association of Tax Technicians. The addresses of both bodies can be found in Annex 1.
Where a bankruptcy order is made in relation to the practice of a dentist, doctor or pharmacist notice should be sent to the Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust of the appropriate Area Health Authority. Where the official receiver is not prepared to carry on the business, notice of his/her intention to discontinue the trading must also be given. Details for the Area Health Authorities are available here.
Where a bankruptcy order is made in relation to a dentist or doctor in private practice it is not necessary to inform the Primary Care Trust. Where a dental practice ceases to trade the official receiver should notify any health plan company from which the bankrupt receives payments (see paragraph 59.62). For further information on the insolvency of a doctor or dentist, see paragraphs 59.58 to 59.74.
For every piece of work done by a dentist through NHS practice, he/she will charge a fee. That fee will be met partly by the patient and partly by the Dental Services Division of the NHS. An NHS client will pay up to a maximum of 80% of the fee charges, depending on their circumstances. In addition, the dentist will be entitled to claim other reimbursements, depending on the level of his/her NHS work - for example, a certain proportion of the business rates paid by the practice or a proportion of the costs of practice improvements. Each month the dentist will raise the equivalent of an invoice for the Dental Services Division, who will pay, via a BACS transfer, monthly in arrears.
When a bankruptcy order is made against an individual trading as a dentist there may be money due to the bankrupt from the Dental Services Division. The official receiver should, in addition to notifying the Primary Care Trust of the Area Health Authority (see paragraph 4.190), notify the Dental Services Division of the NHS. The notice should state the name of the bankrupt, the date of the bankruptcy order and ask for details of the amount outstanding as at that date. The official receiver should ask that any monies due be held to the order of the trustee. The address for the Dental Services Division is shown in Annex 1. For further information on the bankruptcy of a dentist, see paragraphs 59.58 to 59.74.
Where the official receiver is dealing with the bankruptcy of the proprietor of a care or nursing home, he/she should contact the local health authority and also the Care Quality Commission where the home is in England (http://www.cqc.org.uk/) or the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) (http://wales.gov.uk/cssiwsubsite/newcssiw/aboutus/contactus/location/;jsessionid=BB53A9A396FB13B0012DD88B0F826DD2?lang=en) where the home is in Wales.
See paragraph 59.77 for further guidance on dealing with care or nursing homes.
Post Office branches are managed under a number of different types of contract. The differing contracts dictate the title that the individuals managing the post offices are given. Most post office branches are Scale Payment Sub-Offices (SPSO’s) and are managed by “Subpostmasters” or “Subpostmistresses”. Other contracts are managed by “Operators” or “Franchisees”. The title “Postmaster” was previously used to refer to the managers of Post Office branches run by Post Office Limited staff, however these staff are now referred to as branch managers.
If a bankruptcy order is made against an individual running a post office then the Post Office Limited Audit Team should be contacted. The individual should be able to supply the details of their contact in the Post Office but, failing that, the Audit Team can be contacted by fax on 01226 273697.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against a serving police officer, there is no statutory requirement for the official receiver to notify the Chief Constable of the relevant constabulary of the making of the order. The police officer is expected to declare his/her bankrupt status to the constabulary himself/herself. It is possible for a police officer to be dismissed for failing to pay a lawful debt [Note 2]. The official receiver should not take any steps to notify the chief constable but may ask the bankrupt to notify his/her employer.
An undischarged bankrupt cannot act as a trustee of a charity without the permission of the court. Where a bankrupt holds such an office, he should be informed that he must either cease to act or to apply to the court for permission. The official receiver should notify the relevant charity of the bankruptcy order [Note 3].
Where a bankruptcy order is made against an individual who is seeking asylum, there is no statutory requirement for the official receiver to notify the Home Office. However, the Asylum and Policy Directorate of the Home Office have indicated that they would like to receive notification of the bankruptcy order. Their address is shown in Annex 1.
Where the bankrupt is or has been concerned in farming or similar operations he/she may have been in receipt of a grant or subsidy from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The official receiver should contact defra to confirm the current position and whether any monies are due. Any grants and subsidies paid or payable to the bankrupt are dealt with by the Rural Payments Agency at one of their regional offices. The relevant regional office can be traced here using the Rural Payments Agency website. The official receiver could also use the Defra helpline number 08459 335577. Any initial contact should be followed by the official receiver providing written notification of the bankruptcy order. Where the official receiver is aware of the relevant reference number this should be included in the notice.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against a dairy farmer the official receiver should identify his/her customers. With the demise of the Milk Marque scheme the bankrupt may have a sole supply agreement with one of the dairy farmers’ co-operatives or a commercial milk wholesaler. The two co-operatives are Milk Link Limited and First Milk Limited. The most commonly used milk wholesalers are Robert Wiseman Diaries, Dairy Crest Group and Arla Foods UK plc. The addresses of each of the above can be found in Annex 1. The official receiver should notify the bankrupt’s customer(s) of the bankruptcy order as there may be monies due and on-going contractual obligations with regard to current milk stocks. Some additional information is contained in paragraph 31.6.41.
A breeder of any species of plant may apply for Plant Breeders’ Rights which enable them to charge royalties for protected varieties. The rights cover agricultural, horticultural and ornamental plants. A Plant Breeders’ Right is a form of intellectual property and may have a value. Further information on Plant Breeders’ Rights can be obtained here and in paragraph 31.10.110.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against an individual which has Plant Breeders’ Rights the official receiver should send notice to the British Society of Plant Breeders Limited, see Annex 1 for their address. The bankrupt may be entitled to unpaid royalties in respect of the use of the protected species. The registered right, and the species it covers, may have a resale value and be an asset in the proceedings.
The official receiver should be aware that in cases involving agricultural merchants, corn merchants, farmers licenced to deal in plant varieties (for example, seed potatoes), horticulturalists, etc. there may be a liability for royalties under the Plant Varieties and Seeds Act 1964. Where a bankruptcy order is made against an individual involved in these trades the official receiver should send notice to the British Society of Plant Breeders Limited, see Annex 1 for their address. Unpaid royalties at the date of the bankruptcy order will be a debt provable in the bankruptcy. See paragraph 31.6.51 for the conditions necessary to sell any seed in stock. If the stock is sold as seed the royalties due will be an expense in the bankruptcy.
If the bankrupt traded in the building industry, he/she may have been a member of a B&CE benefit scheme. These schemes provide holiday pay and retirement benefits for a bankrupt’s employees. B&CE have requested that they be informed of a bankruptcy order when the official receiver is dealing with a bankrupt operating a B & CE benefit scheme. The address of B & CE is shown in Annex 1.
A bankruptcy order may be made against an individual who is holding, or has held, controlled waste. Whilst the bankruptcy should hold a waste management permit this may not always be the case. In these circumstances the official receiver should give notice to the relevant waste regulation authority (which is usually the local authority) and the Environment Agency. For more information see Chapter 82.
Where the bankrupt holds a vehicle operator’s licence and/or public service operating licence the official receiver should send notice to the appropriate local traffic area office. The official receiver must also return any licences (see paragraph 31.2.21). For details of the nearest local traffic area office, contact the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) on 0870 6060440. Further contact details are available here. VOSA’s address is shown in Annex 1.
It is possible to carry out an operator search for heavy good vehicles and public service vehicles using a town name, operator/trading name, indivudal name of operator’s licence number by clicking here.
Where the bankrupt is authorised to conduct MOT tests, all accountable documents, including MOT test certificates and documents recording the results of tests conducted within the preceding 18 months, should be returned to the local traffic enforcement office. To obtain details of the nearest local traffic enforcement office, contact the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) on 0870 6060440. Further contact details are available here.
To act as a bookmaker an individual must hold an operating licence. In addition the bankrupt may obtain personal licences for specific individual representatives within the business. The Gambling Commission issue and regulate these licences and should be notified of the making of a bankruptcy order as they lapse in the event of insolvency. The official receiver should send notice to the Gambling Commission. The address is shown in Annex 1. See paragraphs 59.43 to 59.44 for further details about bookmakers.
Where an individual trades as a bookmaker from premises he/she needs to hold a betting premises licence. A betting premises licence is issued by the local council. A betting premises licence lapses in the event of insolvency. The official receiver should obtain the appropriate licences held by the bankrupt. The official receiver should notify the local council of the bankruptcy order as it may be possible to recover a proportion of the licence fee from the local council upon surrender of the licence. Details of the appropriate local council can be obtained here.
In order to operate at a racetrack bookmakers are likely to hold a specific type of premises licence, known as a betting premises (track) licence. Such bookmakers are known as on-course bookmakers. When dealing with this type of bookmaker, the official receiver should send notice to the office of the racetrack(s), covered by the licence(s), of the bankruptcy order.
The official receiver should inform HM Revenue and Customs when a bankruptcy order is made against a bookmaker. The notice should be addressed to: HM Revenue & Customs, Greenock Accounting Centre (GAC), Custom House, Custom House Quay, Greenock PA15 1EQ.
Where the bankrupt is an authorised institution under the provisions of the Banking Act 1987 the official receiver should send notice to the Financial Services Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The addresses for both organisations are provided in Annex 1. Whilst there is no obligation contained in the Insolvency Act 1986 to inform either body on the making of the bankruptcy order, the FSA must receive notice of the presentation of a petition against an authorised institution and both the FSA and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme must receive notice of the first meeting of creditors. Therefore, for the purposes of continuity, notification of the order should also be sent. See Part 2 of Chapter 59 and Chapter 80 for further information.
If a bankruptcy order is made against a Lloyd’s name the official receiver should notify Lloyd’s of London’s Financial Recovery Department. The address is shown in Annex 1. For further information see paragraph 59.32.
The official receiver should send notice to the relevant regulatory body where the bankrupt is required, by statute, to be licensed to carry on an investment business. For a list of such business see Annex B to Chapter 80.
In a number of industries schemes are in place to guarantee the deposits paid by a bankrupt’s customers. For example, The Glass and Glazing Federation operates a Deposit Indemnity Scheme to which double glazing contractors may belong. The official receiver should confirm from the bankrupt whether such a scheme is in operation. He/she should obtain details of the scheme together with a schedule of the names and addresses of any of his/her customers who may have a claim under the scheme. This schedule should be provided to the operators of the scheme as quickly as possible.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against an individual who holds a licence under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 the official receiver should give notice to the Office of Fair Trading, see Annex 1 for the address. The Office of Fair Trading no longer sends out a physical licence and the official receiver should surrender the consumer credit licence using the on-line form. The form is available here. Further information on the Consumer Credit Act 1974 can be found here.
Where a bankrupt appears to have an interest in a patent the official receiver should send notice to the Intellectual Property Office, address shown in Annex 1. For more information on intellectual property in general see paragraphs 31.10.49 to 31.10.128.
The storage of all explosives in quantities of over two tonnes requires a licence from the Health and Safety Executive. The Health and Safety Executive, local authorities or the police may issue a licence for explosives in quantities below two tonnes. However some explosives in quantities below two tonnes also require an explosives certificate, for example, blasting explosives or black powder. An explosives certificate is provided by the local police force. The storage of explosives not requiring an explosives certificate in quantities of less than two tonnes is licenced by the local authority (usually the trading standards department), except for metropolitan counties where the licensing is carried out by the fire and rescue service. Further information on licensing requirements is available here. A firearm or shotgun certificate is provided by the local police force. See paragraphs 31.6.29 to 31.6.31 for further information on explosives. Further details on firearms are provided in paragraphs 31.6.32 to 31.6.36.
Where a bankruptcy order is made against an individual who operates a factory for the manufacture of explosives or occupies a licenced magazine, i.e. storage facility, the official receiver must send notice of the order to the Explosives Inspectorate at the Health and Safety Executive, address shown in Annex 1. Alternatively, for queries about licensing the official receiver can e-mail the Explosives Inspectorate at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For queries about the classification or transportation of explosives he/she can e-mail the Explosives Inspectorate at: email@example.com.
Where the official receiver discovers either explosives or firearms in his/her enquiries the local police force should be notified. The explosives or firearms should not be touched or moved until after an inspection by the police. The police will confirm that the explosives and/or firearms have been correctly licenced and will provide advice on their safe removal. Details of the police explosives liaison officers’ are available here.
The official receiver should inform the relevant local authority as soon as possible of the insolvency of a premises licence holder (see paragraph 59.81).
Details of the dedicated email address and telephone number for licensing notifications can be located on the web site of the relevant local authority.
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