A creditor’s guide to dealing with a company in financial difficulty
A creditor’s guide to dealing with a company in financial difficulty

The following Restructuring & Insolvency guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A creditor’s guide to dealing with a company in financial difficulty
  • Order of priority of payment
  • Creditor's position in formal insolvency processes
  • Taking preventative measures—top tips

This note aims to:

  1. provide practical guidance to creditors owed money by a distressed/insolvent company

  2. explain the position of creditors in most types of corporate insolvency situations

  3. provide advice on what a creditor can do to maximise their position if a company enters into formal insolvency proceedings—both before and during.

This guide does not cover:

  1. individual bankruptcies. See Practice Note: Creditors' bankruptcy petitions—grounds and documents required for presentation

  2. partnerships. See General partnerships and insolvency—overview

  3. the detail surrounding corporate insolvency processes

  4. debt recovery options against live companies

The fact that a company is insolvent and so unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due (as defined by the Insolvency Act 1986, s 123 (IA 1986) means that there will only ever be a limited pot of money available for all creditors, and it’s the unsecured creditors who inevitably end up with little or no return (see Practice Note: Where the value breaks and negotiating strength).

This guide aims to provide some guidance to put unsecured creditors in the best position possible in the event of insolvency from a corporate perspective.

Details of an office-holder’s appointment must be included on the company’s correspondence. If the administrator or liquidator is aware of the creditor's claim, they should inform the creditor of their appointment. In practice, they often have incomplete creditor information and so creditors should