Updated guidance from the Bankruptcy and Companies Master

The Bankruptcy and Companies Master has recently issued updated guidance in relation to the lifting of restrictions on Creditors’ Bankruptcy Petitions.

The restriction on the presentation of new Creditor’s Bankruptcy Petitions will be lifted on Monday 5th September 2022.  However, the guidance states that this will apply only to those cases which meet the following criteria:

  1. The petition debt is grounded on a court judgment, decree or other court order; and
  2. The petition is grounded on a statutory demand dated and served on or after 1st June 2022

This appears to be a further small step towards normal pre-pandemic business in the Bankruptcy Court in Northern Ireland.  However, the restriction on Crown petitions will remain in place until further guidance has been issued and the Master has also stated that guidance on Creditors’ Winding Up Petitions against companies has been deferred until new legislation comes into force in Northern Ireland.

Previous guidance specifically reminded creditors that the Bankruptcy Court is meant to be a Court of last resort and ought not to be used for debt recovery purposes.  This latest guidance reinforces that message to a certain extent.

Creditors who are thinking about pursuing a debt against an individual should act swiftly to obtain legal advice in relation to issuing the relevant court proceedings to obtain judgment in line with the updated guidance.

A copy of the updated guidance is available here:

Should you require any advice in relation to the above, please do not hesitate to contact Caroline Prunty, Emma Rooney or Ashley Black.