If your debt problems have reached a stage where you need a legal solution, then you must take advice from an Insolvency Practitioner, a licensed professional who can provide the right solution in cases of business and personal insolvency.
A number of options are available if you are personally insolvent or if your business has debt problems.
Personal insolvency solutions, which can also apply to small business owners operating as sole traders, can include negotiated agreements with creditors, debt management plans, individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs), debt relief orders (DROs), and bankruptcy. Generally, bankruptcy is considered as a last resort; but in some cases, bankruptcy can let someone with overbearing debt problems make a clean start.
For limited companies and limited liability partnerships, insolvency solutions can range from administrative receivership or a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), through to voluntary or compulsory liquidation. In some cases, the directors of insolvent companies may be legally disqualified from further directorship for up to 15 years if there is sufficient evidence of misconduct.
This is one reason why directors should put corporate insolvency in the hands of a qualified Insolvency Practitioner.
Looking online turns up a number of tools and resources that can locate a practitioner — simply search for “Insolvency Practitioners London” or “Insolvency Practitioners Manchester”, for example.
The government’s Insolvency Service website, at www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency, includes an online insolvency practitioners directory. This not only lets you to search for a specific practitioner by name or address, but also for licensed practitioners by county by providing a contact name, company, address, telephone number or email address, and confirmation of that practitioner’s authorising body.
The Insolvency Service directory only contains details of practitioners who have agreed to include their details and is not a full list of all qualified practitioners in the UK.
The Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) website, at www.ipa.uk.com, provides a great deal of advice about insolvency, and gives access to their complaints procedure in the event of problems. The site also allows you to search the IPA database for a practitioner, by either name, company name, or location (city, town, postcode etc.).
As with engaging any other professional — such as a mortgage broker, solicitor or financial adviser — it pays to do your research and weigh your options. It can help to ask questions about not only their qualifications, but their experience — for example one practitioner may be a specialist in personal bankruptcy, another in dealing with insolvency for limited companies. Make sure their experience matches your circumstances.
Good Insolvency Practitioners will independently and professionally assess your financial standing, provide you with full information about your various options and their consequences, and ultimately provide you with their advice and recommendations about the course of action that best suits your circumstances.