Annex 1

What is this document?

This document is called a disclaimer.  It has been issued by an official receiver (an insolvency administrator) in England and Wales.


Why has this document been sent to me?           

The official receiver is dealing with the administration of a bankruptcy in which the bankrupt has an interest in property in which you also have an interest.  If the official receiver considers that the property brings with it obligations that will make it uneconomical to retain and sell the property, he/she may issue a disclaimer.


What is a disclaimer?

A disclaimer is a legal process that allows the official receiver to renounce his interest in property.


What is the effect of the disclaimer?

The effect of the disclaimer is to bring to an end the rights, interests and liabilities of the bankrupt or the bankruptcy estate in the property disclaimed.  The disclaimer also discharges the official receiver from any personal liability in respect of that property.


What will happen to the property once it is disclaimed?

Sometimes, the effect of the issuing of a disclaimer may leave the property without an owner, or ownership of the property may revert to a previous owner.  What actually happens to the property may depend on US law.  If you wish to become the owner of the property you may need to make application to the English or US court (see answer to following question).


Can I take ownership of the property?

Any person with an interest in the disclaimed property can apply for a vesting order through the courts in England and Wales.  It may also be possible to do this through the courts in the USA.  The effect of a vesting order is to give ownership of the property to the person on terms that the court thinks fit.


What if I have incurred a loss as result of the issuing of the disclaimer?

If you have incurred a loss as a result of the official receiver issuing the disclaimer, you may make a claim for this loss as an unsecured creditor in the bankruptcy.  You will then be entitled to a dividend (if one is payable) following the settlement of the bankrupt’s estate.


What if I have further questions?

Further questions may be directed to the Insolvency Service’s Enquiry Line (  The enquiry line will only be able to deal with questions in English and cannot answer questions concerning US law.  If you are affected by the disclaimer you may wish to seek your own independent legal advice.