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Bankruptcy UK has noticed a marked increase recently in the number of clients enquiring about post bankruptcy services, following an apparent ‘tightening up’ of procedures by Official Receivers
It appears that clients are now routinely receiving Income Payments Agreements (IPAs) despite accurate Income and Expenditure documents clearly showing there is no surplus income. This is a worrying development and now, more than ever, the Public needs support in this critical area.
An Income Payments Agreement is an arrangement designed to return money to the creditors over a 36 month period. Therefore, even a ‘modest’ IPA of say £75 per month ends up costing £2,700 over the three year period, something that might be the difference between survival, or not.
Right to have a ‘Fresh Start’
Bankruptcy UK has now set up a dedicated team to resolve these issues and has achieved success in challenging and overturning the IPA decisions levied by the Official Receiver’s Office. The right to have a Fresh Start is not something the publicists dreamt up, it is actually stated in the Insolvency Services’ Technical Manual that an Income Payments Agreement cannot be so prohibitive so as to deny the bankrupt person the right to a fresh start.
This is unique in the Insolvency Services sector, as most companies simply produce the paperwork and ‘wave the client goodbye’.
Another area of concern is motor vehicles. The allowable limit has reduced from £2000 to £1000 and even then it is far from certain that the vehicle will be allowed. In a recent case, a married couple had a vehicle worth £800 attached on the grounds that the husband had a company car.
The fact that the husband was away on business four days a week and there were four young children to shuttle around did not impress the Official Receiver. Fortunately, Bankruptcy UK challenged the decision and had it overturned.
Shift in Attitude
It appears that there has been some type of directive to ‘crack down’ on bankrupts and to obtain a monthly payment at all costs. Of course, no one at the Insolvency Service will admit to this, but when you deal with these issues every day, any shift in attitude quickly becomes apparent. Now, more than ever, professional assistance with bankruptcy is of great importance.