In the dog house: Extended Bankruptcy restrictions for former kennels owner that hid assets from Official Receiver

A former kennels owner who applied for bankruptcy in November 2018 allegedly failed to declare property she jointly owned to the Official Receiver and has been handed a significant ban of seven years of extended bankruptcy restrictions.

The Facts

The bankrupt is the former owner of a boarding kennels trading under the name ‘4Paws’. Following animal welfare concerns in March 2018, the business subsequently was closed and the owner applied for bankruptcy in November 2018.

A bankrupt is required to inform the Official Receiver of any assets that are owned. However, she failed to disclose the fact that she jointly owned the kennels that the company had been trading from.

In addition, throughout the investigation, the bankrupt allegedly claimed she was in fact only the tenant of the property despite being shown copies of the Official Copy of Title from the Land Registry.

The bankrupt has since given a bankruptcy restrictions’ undertaking to voluntarily accept that she failed to declare the property to the Official Receiver.

As such, the bankrupt is now subject to 7 year bankruptcy restrictions prohibiting her from activities including acting as a company director without permission from the Court.

The Official Receiver in the case provided this warning to anyone who hides assets from their creditors:

Seven years of extended bankruptcy restrictions is a significant ban and not only seriously confines Jodie Fairbrother’s conduct going forward but should also act as a warning to those who attempt to defraud their creditors by hiding their asset

Gerard O’Hare, Official Receiver

What is a Bankruptcy Restriction Order?

Bankruptcy Restriction Order (BRO) is a court order, which extends the period of time for which you have to follow certain restrictions. This can last up to 15 years and can restrict your financial affairs.

When can a Bankruptcy Order be made against you?

The Official Receiver can ask the court to make a BRO against you if it believes you’ve acted dishonestly or recklessly before or after you were made bankrupt. Such actions include:

  • breaking any of the restrictions that were placed on you before your discharge from bankruptcy;
  • deliberately paying off some of your creditors before others within the 2 years before bankruptcy;
  • giving away or selling your belongings for less than they’re worth within the 5 years before bankruptcy;
  • failing to keep records which show how you’ve made losses on property or business;
  • making an excessive pension contribution before you applied for bankruptcy;
  • failing to supply goods or services which you’ve been paid for, called taking deposits;
  • carrying on a business when you knew you couldn’t pay your debts, called trading with knowledge of insolvency;
  • taking on debts that couldn’t be repaid;
  • gambling, making rash speculations or being unreasonably extravagant;
  • neglecting your business, causing your debts to increase
  • fraud, such as making a false claim to obtain credit;
  • committing a bankruptcy offence, which may also carry further consequences as these count as criminal offences;
  • not co-operating with the official receiver or bankruptcy trustee.

What can you not do if you are subject to a Bankruptcy Restriction Order?

  • Get credit of £500 or more without telling the lender that you have a BRO;
  • Act as a director or get involved with setting up, promoting or operating a company without permission from the court;
  • Carry out a business in a different name from the one under which you were made bankrupt, without telling everyone you do business with the name in which you were made bankrupt;
  • Be an MP, local councillor, school governor or hold certain other positions in associations, governing bodies or professions.

Failure to comply with a Bankruptcy Restriction Order

If you break any of the restrictions when a BRO is made against you, you’ll be committing a criminal offence. You could be fined or sent to prison.

If you have a BRO and have broken any of the restrictions, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Our expert Bankruptcy Solicitors & Barristers provide professional and specialist legal advice to guide you to the best legal outcome. Our team of London lawyers are based in Middle Temple adjacent to the Royal Courts of Justice. For your case assessment and for more information about our legal services get in touch using our online form, ☎ 02071830529 or email us on .
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