The Official Receiver is often referred to in information relating to bankruptcy and other debt solutions. They are a member of the civil service and work on behalf of the bankruptcy court. Their responsibility is to oversee bankruptcy proceedings as well as manage it once it is in place. They are also responsible for discharging the bankruptcy at its end.
Duties of the Official Receiver
The Official Receiver acts on behalf of both the debtor and the creditor. They are responsible for collecting any property and/or assets in order to protect it for the creditors. They may also be responsible for the sale of any assets (i.e. acting as the Trustee). Other tasks include writing a report on the causes of the bankruptcy and arrange publication of the details in the London Gazette. They will also organise the discharge at the end of the order.
Interview with the Official Receiver
Once an individual has been made bankrupt, the Official Receiver will usually be in contact within 2 weeks in order to arrange an interview. During the interview, which may be held in person or over the phone, the Official Receiver will gather information on the causes of the bankruptcy, as well as details of any assets held. They will also request information on finances such as income, bills and expenses. This could be provided in the form of bank statements, payslips and household bills. Details of exactly what is required on the interview are provided in written confirmation beforehand. It is also possible that the information is requested in advance, I which case the individual will need to complete a Preliminary Information Questionnaire.
Following the interview, the Official Receiver will compile a report detailing assets and debts. This is then passed on to all the creditors involved. It can take up to 8-10 weeks for this report to be produced. It will be at this stage that they will also arrange the publication of the Bankruptcy in the London Gazette and enter it into the Insolvency Register.
It may be that the Official Receiver will act as trustee over any assets, and are therefore responsible for any sale. However, in the event of significant assets, it is possible that the Official Receiver will ask the creditors to appoint an Insolvency Practitioner to be trustee and take responsibility for this process. Whether it is the Official Receiver or an appointed Insolvency Practitioner, full cooperation is required at all times. Failing to disclose information relating to finances may result in a delay to the discharge, or further court proceedings.