Q&As

In circumstances where a debtor’s location is unknown despite attempts to trace them, including writing to their solicitor to arrange personal service, can a statutory demand be served by way of email and/or via a WhatsApp message, both of which have delivery confirmation software to establish if the account holder has downloaded and viewed content?

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Published on LexisPSL on 05/01/2018

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In circumstances where a debtor’s location is unknown despite attempts to trace them, including writing to their solicitor to arrange personal service, can a statutory demand be served by way of email and/or via a WhatsApp message, both of which have delivery confirmation software to establish if the account holder has downloaded and viewed content?
  • Serving a statutory demand
  • Substituted service
  • Case Law

Serving a statutory demand

The requirements for service of a statutory demand on an individual are set out in Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 (IR 2016), SI 2016/1024, rr 10.2 and 10.3 (replacing Insolvency Rules 1986 (IR 1986), SI 1986/1925, rr 6.3 and 6.11) Under IR 2016, SI 2016/1024, r 10.2, a creditor must do all that is reasonable to bring the statutory demand to the debtor's attention and, if practicable in the particular circumstances, serve the demand personally. Before the court will issue a bankruptcy petition it will require the creditor to file a certificate of service of the statutory demand and, if not satisfied that it has been duly served, the court will decline to allow the petition to be issued.

Substituted service

There may be circumstances where personal service is not practicable. In these circumstances, the creditor should follow the guidance as set out in the Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings (2014) (PD). See Practice Note: Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings. Please note that the PD refers to the IR 1986, we are waiting for a revised PD to be issued in due course (expected to be in the first half of 2018).

The Practice Direction on Insolvency Proceedings deals at para [13.2] with the substituted service of a statutory demand. Since a statutory demand is not an insolvency proceeding the court cannot make

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