Q&As

B and C have a joint and several liability for a debt to A. B and C are subsequently made bankrupt. Some years later B discharges the joint and several debt owed to A. B then lodges a claim for a contribution from C in C’s bankruptcy. Is B’s claim in C’s bankruptcy a provable debt as the original joint and several liability was outstanding before the bankruptcy orders were made, or is it a non-provable post-bankruptcy liability as there was no obligation to pay between B and C until B discharged the original debt?

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Published on LexisPSL on 11/09/2017

The following Restructuring & Insolvency Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • B and C have a joint and several liability for a debt to A. B and C are subsequently made bankrupt. Some years later B discharges the joint and several debt owed to A. B then lodges a claim for a contribution from C in C’s bankruptcy. Is B’s claim in C’s bankruptcy a provable debt as the original joint and several liability was outstanding before the bankruptcy orders were made, or is it a non-provable post-bankruptcy liability as there was no obligation to pay between B and C until B discharged the original debt?
  • The nature of joint and several liability
  • Payment of joint and several debts
  • B’s right to claim against C
  • Provable debts

The nature of joint and several liability

As seen in Practice Note: Joint, several, and joint and several liability, joint and several liability arises where two or more persons under the same contract make a promise to the same person, and at the same time each of them individually makes the same promise to that same person.

For instance, where B and C jointly promise to pay £100 to A, but both B and C also separately promise A that £100 will be paid to it by either B or C, the effect is that:

  1. joint and several liability operates similarly to joint liability: B and C are not cumulatively liable so that payment of £100 by B to A discharges C, and

  2. but as between the jointly liable parties, the liabil

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