Bankruptcy petitions—process and procedure

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

  • Bankruptcy petitions—process and procedure
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Steps to be taken by the petitioning creditor before the hearing
  • Steps to be taken by the debtor before the hearing
  • Steps to be taken by any creditor (other than the petitioning creditor) before the hearing
  • Who may appear at the hearing?
  • Failure to attend the hearing
  • By the petitioning creditor
  • By the debtor
  • Adjournments
  • More...

Bankruptcy petitions—process and procedure

Before the hearing of the creditors’ bankruptcy petition takes place, there are a number of steps that must be taken to comply with the procedural requirements set out in the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016, SI 2016/1024 (IR 2016) and Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings (PDIP), including those that may be taken by the debtor or any other creditor if they wish to formally engage in the creditors' bankruptcy petition process.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This content contains guidance on subjects impacted by the Coronavirus Act 2020 and related changes to court procedures and processes as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For further information, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Changes to the court process in insolvency proceedings. For related news, guidance and other resources to assist practitioners working on restructuring and insolvency matters, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Restructuring & Insolvency—overview.

Steps to be taken by the petitioning creditor before the hearing

The petitioning creditor must take several procedural steps before the hearing of the bankruptcy petition:

  1. the petitioning creditor will need to ensure that at least 14 days has elapsed since the bankruptcy petition was served on the debtor. The petition can only be heard if less than 14 days has elapsed if:

    1. it appears to the court that the debtor has absconded

    2. the court is satisfied that there is a proper case for an expedited hearing,

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