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 bankruptcy postbag for march
 Bankruptcy and Foriegn Issues-Living Abroad
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Junior Member

United Kingdom
267 Posts

Posted - 10 March 2007 :  12:25:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is information on petitioning for bankruptcy when you live abroad.
The link is: http://ww.insolvency.gov.uk website.


How can I make myself bankrupt if I live abroad?

Please note that if you live in another member state of the European Union (apart from Denmark), you can only make yourself bankrupt in the UK if you have had an establishment here – which basically means that you have carried on a permanent business here. If you do not live in another member state of the European Union or you live in Denmark, you can only make yourself bankrupt if you are:

* (a) domiciled in England and Wales;
* (b) personally present in England or Wales on the day on which the petition is presented; or
* (c) at any time in the period of 3 years ending with that day-
o (i) have been ordinarily resident, or have had a place of residence, in England and Wales, or
o (ii) have carried on business in England and Wales.

If you do not live in England or Wales, you must present your bankruptcy petition in the High Court. The bankruptcy petition must be presented either by yourself in person, or an agent acting on your behalf, e.g. a solicitor. If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf, you may need to grant them power of attorney – please contact the High Court for further details. Following the making of a bankruptcy order, you will need to provide information to the Official Receiver and complete a booklet and other documents, as well as possibly attending for an interview. Unfortunately, these documents cannot be completed before a bankruptcy order is made, and you cannot pre-book an appointment. However, if you explain your circumstances to the Official Receiver, e.g. you are only in the country for a limited period, he will try to fix an appointment for you as soon as possible. If you appoint an agent to act on your behalf under a power of attorney, that agent could be required to attend for interview at the Official Receiver’s office on your behalf.

Do the bankruptcy restrictions apply when I go abroad?

Yes – all restrictions apply, except you can be a director of a foreign company if that company does not do any business in England or Wales. If you are in any doubt, you should seek your own legal advice.

Does a bankruptcy order affect my assets abroad?

Yes – but how it affects them depends on where they are and whether you have had a business or a main residence in another state in the European Union. The European Regulation on insolvency affects everyone who lives or has a business in a member state of the European Union (which includes the UK but excludes Denmark).

If your main business or residence is or was in the UK, your trustee will be able to deal with all your assets throughout the EU (except in Denmark), except if bankruptcy proceedings have also been started in another EU state where you have had a business. In that case, the assets which are in that other state will be dealt with by a trustee appointed there. Assets which you have in Denmark or any countries outside the EU, for example the USA, will also be part of your bankruptcy estate in the UK, although the trustee may encounter problems in selling them if he is not "recognised" in a foreign jurisdiction as having power to sell them. The trustee may require co-operation from you and, also, he may need to apply for a court order in the foreign country to deal with the asset.

If your main business or residence is or was recently in another EU state, then any bankruptcy proceedings in the UK can only deal with assets which are in the UK.

Do debts owed to foreign creditors fall into my bankruptcy?

Yes – all of your creditors in the world, except taxes due to non-EU countries, are able to claim in the bankruptcy being conducted in this country. There is a provision in insolvency law which prevents creditors in the bankruptcy taking action against you in England and Wales whilst you are bankrupt. Foreign creditors will, in practical terms, not be stopped from taking debt-recovery action against you in their own country, as the English court cannot restrict their activities abroad. However, if a foreign creditor does start debt-recovery action abroad, you should explain the position and the foreign court may stop the action in view of your bankruptcy. If not, the foreign creditor may try to recover his debt from foreign assets which the trustee is unable to deal with.

Can a disqualified director or an undischarged bankrupt be a director of a foreign company?

You can only be a director of a company which is registered outside England and Wales if that company does not do any business within England and Wales. If you have any doubt, you should seek your own legal advice.

Does a foreign bankruptcy order have any effect in England and Wales?

It will depend on in which country the bankruptcy proceedings are brought. As regards assets, it will depend on whether the trustee of the foreign bankruptcy is ‘recognised’ in this country. If the bankruptcy proceedings are in another member state of the European Union (except for Denmark) where you have or recently had your main residence or business, the trustee in those proceedings has the authority to deal with all the assets which you have within the EU (including the UK). As regards bankruptcy restrictions, it will depend on the foreign legislation governing the bankruptcy.

All I have left is my sense of humour.

Junior Member

170 Posts

Posted - 23 February 2008 :  15:56:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the information. I live in the EU although my permanent address is in the UK with unfortunately no assets in the UK or anywhere else. At the moment I am unemployed and being asked to pay up by the UK credit card companies with whom I have 12000 debt.
I am wondering if I can opt for bankruptcy in the UK and I have the following questions:
* if I declare bankruptcy in the UK would that mean that the authorities in the country where I live also would be informed? In other words the embarrasment in the UK be regarded as enough or I would have to endure it also in here?
* could the court could ask me to return to the UK?
Thank you.

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