Legal News

Trustee in bankruptcy unsuccessful in suspending a bankrupt’s discharge (Re Mittal)

Published on: 12 April 2022
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Trustee in bankruptcy unsuccessful in suspending a bankrupt’s discharge (Re Mittal)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Whether service was effected by email on 11 June 2021
  • Whether retrospective validation of service was possible
  • Did rule 12.64 of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 assist?
  • Was there an acceptance of service, a waiver or estoppel that prevented the bankrupt from arguing that valid service had not been effected?
  • Case details

Article summary

Restructuring & Insolvency analysis: In this case, a trustee in bankruptcy was unsuccessful in obtaining a suspension of a bankrupt’s discharge. The trustee issued an application to suspend the bankrupt’s discharge eight days prior to the expiry of the bankruptcy period, based on the bankrupt’s failure to cooperate. The trustee’s solicitors sent a copy of the application by email before obtaining consent to service by email, and tried unsuccessfully to effect personal service by courier. At an initial hearing, an interim suspension order was made, recording that it was made without prejudice to the bankrupt’s right to oppose the application on any ground. Subsequently the bankrupt opposed the application, on procedural rather than substantive grounds, asserting the trustee had failed to effect valid service of the application prior to the expiry of the bankruptcy period, and opposing the trustee’s application for post-validation. The court attached real importance to the fact that the deadline in section 279 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (IA 1986) was akin to a limitation period, and found that there were no exceptional circumstances which would justify retrospectively validating the flawed service steps taken by the trustee. Written by Katie Farmer, legal director at Ashfords LLP. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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