Interviews with the Official Receiver
In the last article on the Winding up process we talked about the Court Hearing to consider the creditors Winding up Petition to have a company wound up. In most cases this results in the judge granting the Winding up Order, often as a result of there being no defence being lodged against the petition.
The Order is then sent to the Official Receiver and the Company Directors with a copy retained on the courts files. Once this Order is made, the Winding up Process begins and as part of it you will be required to attend an interview with the Official Receiver.
The following will give you an overview of this process and help you to understand how you should approach this to achieve the best possible outcome.
First a definition: Official Receivers are civil servants empowered by The Insolvency Service and are officers of the court. As stated above, the Court notifies them about a Winding-up Order. They have the responsibility of managing your insolvency case at least through its initial stages. This includes identifying and protecting your assets and investigating the circumstances which led to the winding up.
As a director of a company in compulsory liquidation, you must respond to the Official Receiver’s request to provide information about the financial affairs of your company. If there is urgent action required they will contact you immediately, otherwise this will occur within 2 working days of them receiving the Winding up Order.
As an important part of this process it is usual for you to attend an interview at the Official Receiver’s office at a date convenient for all parties and the remainder of this article is focused upon this. In some cases the Official Receiver will request a telephone interview. Each case is assessed individually.
Before attending this interview you will receive a letter setting out what needed is from you and this is likely to include the completion of a detailed questionnaire. You will need to provide all the relevant financial records, paperwork, including the latest company accounts requested and any other information you will need for the interview.
At the interview, which usually lasts between 2-3 hours, your questionnaire (if you have been asked to complete one) will be checked by a member of the official receiver’s staff and then you will be interviewed by an insolvency examiner. They will go into the details of the company’s financial situation and the factors that led to the insolvency. You will be required to hand over the company’s financial records and papers which will be examined, recorded and kept by the official receiver.
Under certain circumstances there may be the need for a second appointment, especially if the case is complex. This may be because you have not, or cannot, provide all the information the examiner requires or simply because they need more time to complete more in-depth enquiries and investigations.
After the interview, the official receiver will check the information which you have provided. Once this is completed a report will be issued to creditors and shareholders, setting out the company’s assets and liabilities. This report will usually be issued within 8 (but in any event within 12) weeks of the Winding up Order. What happens next depends mainly on the complexities of the case and the size of the assets and this will be the subject of the next article in this series.
Finally, up to now we have been emphasising the need for speed. In respect to the official receiver’s interview process, the watchword is cooperation!
The more difficulty the Official Receiver has in finding out what caused the insolvency or administering the assets, the longer the whole process will take and in addition failure to co-operate may lead to a public examination in open court.
If you want to find out anything further about this subject then please feel free to call me on 01494 786 000 or 07961 116 321. All conversations will be in strict confidence. You can also email me firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER This blog / article is for information and interest only. It is not a substitute for full professional advice, which will take account of the specific and individual circumstances surrounding your matter. Navigate Business Recovery Limited cannot accept any responsibility for any loss arising as a result of any person or organisation acting or refraining from acting on any information.
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