These FAQs are to assist official receivers in understanding the subject and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed guidance given in the main body of the Technical Manual chapter.  Links to the relevant parts of the Technical Manual are given within the FAQs.

Why might I need to know how to deal with a bankrupt’s affairs in Poland?

Generally here we are talking about Polish nationals who have chosen to re-locate to the UK leaving assets (probably property) behind in Poland.  The EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings 2000 provides that an order made in one country of the EU (except Denmark) is recognised throughout the EU, giving the trustee power to deal with property situated elsewhere in the EU – which includes Poland (see paragraph 43.16.3).

The official receiver should always check that the bankrupt’s centre of main interests is in England/Wales – otherwise the order ought not to have been made here (see Chapter 43.0, Part 2).


So, assuming the order has been correctly made, the official receiver automatically has power to deal with property in Poland?

Yes, but he/she must respect the rights of the chargeholders (essentially the same as he/she would in the UK) (see paragraph 43.16.5) and, of course, the property must be worth the costs of dealing with (see paragraph 43.16.12).


How might I value a Polish property?

The value of the property might be apparent from information and documents provided by the bankrupt (see paragraph 43.16.15), or the information might be available on the internet, by comparing the prices of similar properties (see paragraph 43.16.16).  If not, it may be necessary to engage a local estate agent (hopefully for free) or a local surveyor/valuer (see paragraph 43.16.17).  To establish how much the property is worth to the estate, it will also be necessary to ascertain the amount of outstanding charges and any third-party interests.  This is achieved the same way as for a property in the UK – that is, from correspondence with the chargeholders and/or documentation provided by the bankrupt (see paragraph 43.16.18).


I need to know who the chargeholders are on the property as the bankrupt is not sure.  Can I conduct a search?

It is possible to conduct an on-line search of the property details at the Polish land registry, following the guidance in the Technical Manual (see paragraph 43.16.19).


Assuming the property is worth dealing with, how might the official receiver protect his interest?

For the most part, this is the same as for a property in England and Wales – that is, ask the chargeholder(s) to note the official receiver’s interest in the property and seek to protect the interest at the Polish land registry (see paragraph 43.16.22).

Of course, the official receiver may instead seek the appointment of an insolvency practitioner as trustee in the event that the bankrupt’s interest is significant (see Chapters 16 and 17).


How might the official receiver protect his/her interest in property at the Polish land registry?

It is likely to be possible to achieve the necessary registration by writing to the Polish land registry (see paragraph 43.16.22).


What should I do after protecting the interest in the property?

The property interest may then be passed to the LTADT to monitor in the usual way before seeking to realise – for which the engagement of a local solicitor will be required (see paragraph 43.16.28).


What if the property is not worth the cost of protecting?

The official receiver may simply ‘abandon’ the property to the chargeholders, asking them to note his/her interest in any surplus following a sale (see paragraph 43.16.13).


What about a disclaimer?

It is possible to disclaim the property, but only if it has some onerous obligation attached to it – such as an obligation to obtain public liability insurance if it is empty (see paragraph 43.16.13).