Articles

Many businesses are facing hard times in the current market. Your business might be one of them. Early action is critical in determining whether your business can be rescued or not. Taking steps to ensure your company remains financially sound will minimise the risk of an insolvent trading action. It may also improve your company's performance. There are serious penalties and consequences of insolvent trading including civil penalties and criminal charges. Insolvency can be established by either of the Cashflow or Balance Sheet tests. Note, importantly, that the company only needs to fail one of these tests to be insolvent. The Cashflow test is simply whether the company can pay its debts when they fall due for payment. If you are paying…
McDonald Vague are solution providers for businesses at risk, and specialists in business recovery. We often deal with liquidations where the director has continued to trade an insolvent company. In many of those cases, prior to liquidation the director/shareholder has increased the mortgage on their house and advanced further capital for a short term cash flow fix without taking out any security for that advance. If funds are advanced to the company, the director/shareholder should seek legal advice on obtaining security and registering that security on the Personal Property Securities Register prior to the advance. CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL LIABILITY? TALK TO US IN CONFIDENCE If you are concerned your business maybe be trading while insolvent; or are worried about…
The following are some issues which tend to crop up on many of our liquidations. Vehicles claimed by directors A minor, but often emotive issue, is the car "owned" by the director. The director states it is their car, and it is registered in their name. Registration, however, does not prove ownership and if the car is in the company's accounts and shown on the depreciation schedule, the liquidator will fulfill one of their principal duties by taking possession of the car and selling it. Share capital not paid up Under modern company law, shares have no nominal value. Too many times we hear that if a company has 1,000 shares then there is an obligation on the shareholders to…
This article discusses when to accept a company compromise, and suggests what modifications and amendments can be asked for, and when to reject a compromise. What is a compromise? A compromise is an agreement between a company and its creditors. Most compromises have two basic features. They provide:- That creditors are paid their debt in part or full over a period. If they are to be paid in part, then the creditors write off the balance of their debt That during the term of the compromise, debts are frozen and no creditor may take any action against the company A compromise as perceived by creditors It seems to us that compromises with creditors can make otherwise rational people break out…
When a person is faced with a bleak financial situation, bankruptcy may appear to be the only outcome. However, there are certain circumstances where this may not have to be the case. Part 5 of the Insolvency Act 2006 provides for alternatives for individuals facing bankruptcy - and the Subpart 2 proposal option can be very beneficial to affected parties. Potential benefits of the Part 5 Subpart 2 proposal As an insolvency practitioner with extensive experience in this area, I have acted as trustee for a large number of individuals and successfully negotiated terms with their creditors to the advantage of all concerned. I have found that the Part 5 Subpart 2 proposal option has become more popular for: insolvent…
A Part 5 Subpart 2 proposal under the Insolvency Act 2006 gives a debtor an alternative to bankruptcy.  If the proposal succeeds, then the insolvent is bound by the proposal and does not have to comply with the usual provisions of a bankruptcy.  For example, the debtor may carry on in business and have more than one bank account, and is not prevented from leaving the country. Proposals are called Part 5 proposals because they fall under Part 5 Subpart 2 of the Insolvency Act 2006.  The person who is subject to a proposal is called "the insolvent." A proposal is in effect a contract between a debtor and his or her creditors.  The insolvent may put an offer to…
Introduction A Chartered Accountant providing business services arrives at results through double entry bookkeeping. That is, for every debit there must be a credit. That same accountant, although they are excellent at their job, may be confused if they are asked to draw conclusions from inadequate records. On the other hand, the forensic accountant thrives on inadequate records and is used to coming to conclusions by drawing information from different places and bringing it together to a meaningful conclusion. One of the duties of a liquidator is to realise the assets of a company. Often those assets take the form of a claim against someone who has defrauded a company. For a liquidator to do their job properly they must…
When commencing a receivership we often expect that it will involve a relatively straightforward sale, realisation and distribution process. However, it is increasingly common in these economic times for the receivers of an insolvent company to be considering and dealing with not only its creditors' interests but the positions and creditors of other, potentially competing, insolvent entities. The factual scenario Matakana was a winemaker. It had a related company, Goldridge, whose role was to market the wine. The Vintage companies ("Vintage") were set up to raise money from outside lenders and to hold that money to be paid when invoiced for the cost of the grape juice and for bottling the wine, and then supply the bottled wine to Goldridge.…
Introduction In August 2011, the High Court issued an important decision in Burns v Commissioner of Inland Revenue on the widely argued question of "what is an account receivable?". This followed an earlier decision (re Northshore Taverns, 2008) in which the High Court decided that "accounts receivable" amounted to "book debts" only. This may sound like an academic point, but it is very important in determining which creditors receive distributions from the various sources of funds realised in a receivership or liquidation. The decision has positive implications for employees and the IRD as preferential creditors, and negative implications for General Security Agreement ("GSA") holders and guarantors. The legal issue The Seventh Schedule to the Companies Act 1993 sets out the…
Introduction It is now almost ten years since the Personal Property Securities Act 1999 ("PPSA") was enacted. Despite this, in our insolvency work we still regularly come across suppliers who have not performed the necessary registrations, and as a result lose priority to other creditors. This is highly unfortunate, given that a PPSR registration is simple to do and costs only $3.07. A PPSR registration is a little like income protection insurance - not terribly exciting to think about now, but it can make all the difference if the unexpected happens. We encourage all our clients to check that they, and their own clients, are fully conversant with this vital area. In this short article we attempt to explain the…
Business involves hard work and a bit of luck (or magic, given that only 29% of new businesses survive their tenth year). When things go wrong, a news release or a prosecution does not help creditors. Money in the hand does. Dear Peri Just a quick note to say you have restored some of my confidence in human nature. I received $438.75 from the liquidation of [name removed]. Funds we thought we would never see again. Thanks Steve Remedying the situation monetarily is, however, interesting in a liquidation. Commonly, particularly in a High Court liquidation, any tangible assets of material value have been disposed of prior to liquidation, and the directors may be facing the prospect of bankruptcy. The unsecured…
Are you likely to be forced to repay to a liquidator money previously received from a customer? It has become relatively common for suppliers and others to be challenged by liquidators to repay funds that they have previously been paid. Prior to the change of rules in late 2007, the contentious issue was determining what "the ordinary course of business" meant. The decisions surrounding liquidators' challenges did not discourage conventional or usual debt collection measures. Since the McEntee Hire decision in August 2010 we have observed an increase in liquidators sending out letters seeking to challenge transactions. It is disappointing that some liquidators seem to take an approach of challenging all payments made, rather than first considering whether there has…
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