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Official Receiver & Trustee In Bankruptcy

The Role of the Official Receiver

Official Receivers are civil servants within the Government’s Insolvency Service. Upon making a bankruptcy order, the Court appoints an Official Receiver who is primarily responsible for:

  • Investigating your financial affairs and conduct. Any evidence of irregularity or criminal activity will be investigated.
  • Obtaining immediate control of your property and assets of worth.

You are required to fully co-operate with the Official Receiver. Failure to do so can have severe consequences ranging from a delay in bankruptcy discharge to a recommendation of a public examination in Court.

The Official Receiver will require you to complete a questionnaire similar to the Statement of Affairs that you would have already completed if you had petitioned for your own bankruptcy.

The Official Receiver contacts all your creditors, inviting them to prove any claim for a debt held against you.

The Official Receiver (or a member of their staff) will normally interview you by phone. You will usually be required to attend an interview in person at the Official Receiver’s office in the case where:

  • You have been made bankrupt before.
  • You have recently been trading in business.

The Official Receiver has a wide range of powers and can, where appropriate, arrange for:

  • Your mail to be redirected to their office.
  • A court order for seizure of your passport.

The Official Receiver registers the bankruptcy with the Land Registry and advertises it in:

  • The Gazette
    The London, Edinburgh, and Belfast Gazettes are the official newspapers of record in the United Kingdom. Several legal notices, including insolvency notices, are required by law to be published here.

The Official Receiver also arranges for your bank account(s) to be frozen.

Within 12 weeks of the bankruptcy order, the Official Receiver can arrange for a meeting of the creditors in order to appoint a Trustee. The appointed Trustee is normally a licensed Insolvency Practitioner. If no Trustee is appointed, then the Official Receiver becomes the Trustee.

The Role of the Trustee

When the Trustee is appointed, or the Official Receiver becomes the Trustee, all your assets vest into the control of the Trustee.

The Trustee is primarily responsible for:

  • Disposing of your property, ensuring a fair price is obtained for the benefit of paying your creditors.
  • Ensuring the proceeds of the sale of your assets is shared out fairly among your creditors.