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Insolvency Law

Expert guidance on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency

26 SEP 2013

Secondus v Atkinson (As Trustee in Bankruptcy of Ene Baleme Secondus) [2013] BPIR 632

(Chancery Division, Registrar Jones, 17 May 2013)

S applied to annul her bankruptcy under s 282(1)(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986 on the grounds that the bankruptcy debts and expenses had either been paid or secured for to the satisfaction of the court. She made her application in circumstances where the bankruptcy debts and expenses would be paid in full even with no annulment, since (1) the petition debt, being unpaid services charges under a long lease of a property, had been paid by the mortgagee; and (2) the equity in the lease had a value far in excess of the £50,655 sum that her trustee in bankruptcy claimed in respect of his costs and expenses. She argued that the sums claimed for remuneration and payment of solicitor's expenses were (at their lowest) unreasonable, contending that it was wrong to require her to pay and she could not pay that unreasonable sum in order to be able to have her bankruptcy annulled. In conducting a detailed analysis of the trustee's fees and expenses, Mr Registrar Jones reduced the amounts claimed because of errors made by the trustee and because the rate was disproportionate, having regard to the fact that this was a straightforward bankruptcy where the equity of the main asset exceeded the debts. An annulment could not however be ordered at this stage, because it was necessary for the trustee to revise his figures based upon the judgment.

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