ARTICLE
21 March 2017

Attempt To Put Asset Beyond The Reach Of Trustees In Bankruptcy Fails

Trustees in bankruptcy issued an application for a declaration that a property owned by a company (the Property) was in fact owned by the bankrupt.
UK Insolvency/Bankruptcy/Re-Structuring
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Trustees' Application

Trustees in bankruptcy issued an application for a declaration that a property owned by a company (the Property) was in fact owned by the bankrupt. The trustees contended that the Property had been bought from the sale proceeds of a property owned by the bankrupt's father, but expressly held on trust for the bankrupt (the Trust Property).

The Facts

The Property was bought in the father's name, but was funded by a combination of the sale proceeds of the Trust Property, money from a company associated with the bankrupt and a mortgage serviced and eventually paid off by the bankrupt. As the bankrupt hit financial difficulty, the father moved out and the Property was let. The Property was transferred to the company after making of the bankruptcy order.

Decision

The Chief Registrar had little hesitation in finding, on the facts, that the Property vested in the trustees as an asset of the bankruptcy, disbelieving much of the bankrupt's evidence in support of his position that he had no interest in the Property. The father was, however, afforded the opportunity to apply to court asserting any interest he has in the Property as the application only determined ownership of the Property between the company and the bankrupt.

Thomas & O'Reilly v Mariner Properties Limited and Dean Jonathan D'Eye [2016]

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