Offences of non-disclosure in bankruptcy
Produced in partnership with Cameron Brown of 9–12 Bell Yard
Offences of non-disclosure in bankruptcy

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with Cameron Brown of 9–12 Bell Yard provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Offences of non-disclosure in bankruptcy
  • Failure to submit a statement of affairs
  • Elements of the offence of failure to submit a statement of affairs
  • Failure to disclose property
  • Elements of the offence of failure to disclose property
  • Defences to a charge of failure to provide a statement of affairs and non disclosure
  • Sentences for non disclosure offences

Failure to submit a statement of affairs

It is an offence for a bankrupt to fail to make accurate disclosure in a statement of affairs as required under the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986). The purpose of the non disclosure offences is to protect a bankrupt’s property for the creditors and to punish any bankrupt who tries to avoid that protection.

Where a bankruptcy order has been made otherwise than on a debtor’s petition ie by the bankrupt himself, the bankrupt has 21 days beginning with the commencement of the bankruptcy to submit a statement of affairs.

A bankrupt who:

  1. without reasonable excuse fails to comply with the obligation imposed under this section, or

  2. without reasonable excuse submits a statement of affairs that does not comply with the prescribed requirements

is guilty of contempt of court.

Elements of the offence of failure to submit a statement of affairs

IA 1986, s 288(2) requires that the statement of affairs shall contain details of the bankrupt’s creditors, debts and other liabilities or such other information as prescribed by the Official Receiver or the court.

The bankrupt may be released from the obligations under section 288 Insolvency Act 1986 if the Official Receiver thinks it fit to extend the time to submit a statement. A court may also may exercise those same powers if