If you have been made bankrupt you may still consider the option of an annulment. A number of issues arise in annulment cases, not only in establishing the grounds for it but also in dealing with the supplemental issues that occur along the way.
We can assist you every step of the way, in order to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible.
What is an Annulment?
An annulment is an order of the court, which has the effect of restoring the bankrupt's position to how it would have been had the bankruptcy order never been made.
Applying for an Annulment
Where an application for an annulment is made on the grounds that the order ought never to have been made, the burden is on the bankrupt to show a defect in the bankruptcy petition proceedings, or in respect of the debt that forms the basis of the petition.
Bankruptcy orders have been annulled on the following grounds:
- Where the petition debt was shown not to exist
- Where the petition was not properly served
- Where the bankrupt was shown not to be under the jurisdiction of the Court of England and Wales
The success of an annulment application depends on the circumstances of the case, as well as the discretion of the court.
An application made on the grounds that the bankruptcy debts have been paid in full requires funds to be paid into the bankruptcy estate.
To apply for an annulment, the process broadly takes the following form:
- Completion of an application form
- Making a written witness statement, explaining why you believe the bankruptcy order should not have happened
- Submitting the application form and witness statement to the court, who will set a date for a hearing
- The Official Receiver or trustee in bankruptcy should then be informed of the situation and your application, as well as receive copies of the paperwork
- The court hearing will then take place
Having Problems With an Annulment?
Situations such as dealing with the payment of the trustee in bankruptcy's costs, attending court hearings and making witness statements can be daunting and intimidating. The court has the discretion to grant an annulment order under two grounds:
- The order ought never to have been made.
- The bankruptcy debts, costs and expenses have been paid or secured to the satisfaction of the court.
What Are The Consequences of an Annulment?
Depending on the circumstances of the case, there can be significant benefits to a bankrupt seeking an annulment on these grounds.
There are tax savings to be made when the debts are paid by third-party funds rather than from realised bankruptcy assets. The annulment also prevents the ongoing incurrence of the trustee's costs, and an annulment will save the bankrupt's family home from challenge by the trustee in bankruptcy.
If the annulment is successful and your bankruptcy is cancelled, you still have to pay for the costs incurred by the bankruptcy order and the annulment hearing. Any restrictions imposed on you by the bankruptcy order will be lifted.
If the bankruptcy is lifted, you will return to the same position you were in before it was imposed. With this comes such elements as your liability for paying any debts, alongside the loss of any property or belongings that have not been sold. Any that remain unsold will be returned to you.
Any record of your bankruptcy will be removed.
Our approach is straight-talking, open-minded and forward-thinking, and we ensure that your comfort, satisfaction and peace of mind is always at the forefront of our thinking.
Our director, Nigel Whitfield, has over forty years of experience and is particularly renowned and highly respected for his in-depth knowledge and experience of the property aspect of bankruptcy.
Contact Us For Help
We provide advice on a wide range of legal issues to clients around Yorkshire from our offices in Leeds, York and Sheffield. For an initial discussion on the specific details of your case, contact our solicitors today using the details below.
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