Investigation and recovery action for trustee in bankruptcy

Verisona Law was originally instructed by a local insolvency practitioner to undertake an initial review of the prospects of realising a long leasehold property whose only income was ground rent and where the asset was the subject of a charge in favour of the bankrupt’s partner.

During the course of the initial investigation the firm demanded the delivery up of the conveyancing file from the bankrupt’s solicitors which on examination showed that the property had been purchased in a false name and that the original bankruptcy proceedings needed to be amended.

Further demands for documents from the bankrupt’s solicitors unearthed the fact that he owned the property where he lived as well as other property.  Examination of various bank accounts unearthed even more properties which had been acquired using other aliases and a network of other solicitors firms.

The net result of the firm’s detailed investigations was that property worth over £13 million was identified and HM Revenue and Customs made a significant additional claim in respect of undisclosed tax.

Prior to the sale of one of the substantial property assets problems were encountered with the bankrupt and with squatters.  It was necessary to issue urgent proceedings against the squatters for their eviction.  In another case in depth enquiries had to be made into the legal rights of various occupiers of the property.  Also, the charge in favour of the bankrupt’s partner was successfully challenged prior to sale.

Over the course of more than a year various properties were sold and the proceeds used to ensure that all creditors, including HM Revenue and Customs who were owed in excess of £1 million, were paid in full.

Once the bankruptcy was concluded the balance of cash and the property portfolio were transferred back to the bankrupt.


Individuals in financial difficulty

  • Assistance with financial difficulties, personal guarantees, statutory demands, bankruptcy issues and individual voluntary arrangements
  • Dealings with the Official Receiver, The Insolvency Service and trustees in bankruptcy (including possession actions in relation to residential property)
  • Insolvency-related disputes and litigation.

Businesses in financial difficulty

  • Advice on business refinancing and restructuring
  • Advice on and management of insolvency procedures
  • Negotiations with trade creditors, HMRC (including ‘time to pay’ agreements), landlords, banks, factoring companies, financiers and insolvency practitioners
  • Business sales.

Insolvency practitioners

  • Technical advice, transactional support and litigation services locally and nationally
  • Assistance with investigations
  • Insolvency-related disputes and litigation (including construction disputes)
  • Personal insolvency issues
  • Asset and debt recovery
  • Asset and business sales
  • Property issues
  • Employment issues
  • Cross-border assistance.

Creditors

  • Advice on issuing statutory demands and bankruptcy petitions
  • Maximising recoveries
  • Retention of title issues
  • Enforcement of personal guarantees
  • Representation at creditor meetings.

Buyers of distressed or insolvent businesses

  • Advice on purchasing distressed or insolvent businesses
  • Risk assessment and due diligence
  • Support for valuation and price negotiation
  • Related property, leasehold and employment issues.

Client Testimonial

“Our projects are often opportunities that arise where there are legal complications and/or the matters are time sensitive. Sometimes we take on projects where others have tried and failed.

“We use Julian De Giovanni because we have found him adept at identifying problems early on and then either resolving them or advising us of our position. He always has in mind the importance to us of being able to sell on completed units quickly and cleanly once we have concluded a project.

“This was a project where there was a lot to be done in a short space of time. Nevertheless the job was still carried out to the same standard as if time were no object.

“Julian puts in the extra effort that is required to get the job done. He is contactable, answers the phone and replies to messages. He meets and exceeds our expectations whilst remaining a pleasant person to deal with! I have had no hesitation in recommending him to others.”

Craig Beevers

SLC Property LTD”

Property Development Company

Client testimonial

“I felt that Julian De Giovanni kept on top of this transaction and ensured that I was regularly updated. This was the first time that we had instructed Julian but won’t be the last.”

Jonathan Hunt
Finance Director

Wallop Defence Systems”

Defence Technology Company

Exploring how best to secure payment of the Court award

The Defendant was the sole owner of his property and we discovered there was one mortgage registered against it.  Mortgage enquiries and a valuation showed there was over £300,000 of equity in the property. 

Taking Court action to settle the debt

First we obtained a Final Charging Order. This means that the Judgment debt is registered and secured against the property as an equitable charge.

We then applied to the Court for an Order for Sale whereby the property would be sold and the proceeds of sale, following the discharge of the mortgage and other costs, would be used to settle the client’s claim. 

Although the Defendant strenuously opposed the application, the Court granted an Order for Sale and ordered the Defendant to vacate the property. They refused to leave.

Full repayment of the debt

At this point the Bailiff was instructed to take possession of the property and the Defendant was evicted.   It was then sold and we recovered full settlement of the debt and payment of legal costs for our client. 

The balance of the proceeds of sale was paid to the Defendant. 

Orders for Sale are granted at the discretion of the Court and the Court may be unwilling to make an Order for Sale if there are young children, elderly or disabled occupiers living in the property.

A building company


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