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.