Press release

12 year Bankruptcy Restrictions for Warwick woman who failed to disclose assets

Victoria Curzon-Hope has been given a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order for twelve years for failing to disclose and deliver up assets to the Official Receiver, as required to by law.

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The ban follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The order made on 4 November 2015, by Warwick County Court means that Mrs Curzon-Hope will be bound for 12 years, by the restrictions set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until November 2027. In addition, she cannot manage or control a company during this period without leave of the court.

Mrs Curzon-Hope was declared bankrupt on her own petition at Warwick on 23 January 2013 and was discharged from bankruptcy on 23 January 2014 with liabilities of £31,281.

In July 2014, the Official Receiver learnt that Mrs Curzon-Hope had failed to disclose assets held at the time she presented her bankruptcy petition, as she was required to do, as a bankrupt.

During the course of his subsequent investigations, the Official Receiver found that whilst subject to a bankruptcy order, Mrs Curzon-Hope learnt she was due to receive an inheritance but failed to disclose this to the Official Receiver. She received a cheque for £57,698 on 25 February 2014 and subsequently spent the majority of this money, despite being informed by the Official Receiver that she should not do so, whilst not repaying her creditors.

By failing to disclose the assets and subsequently spending the majority of the money, the Official Receiver was unable to collect the funds for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate and Mrs Curzon-Hope’s creditors remain unpaid.

As a result of documentation given to Mrs Curzon-Hope and which she acknowledged receipt of, following her bankruptcy, she ought to have known that she had a duty to reveal the assets to her trustee, the Official Receiver.

Commenting on the case, Gerard O’Hare of the Insolvency Service’s Official Receiver’s office said:

The Insolvency Service always looks very closely at individuals who disregard their duties and responsibilities whilst bankrupt and takes action where wrongdoing is uncovered.

Notes to Editors

Mrs Curzon-Hope is of Warwick and her date of birth is 3 May 1973.

If the Official Receiver considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been dishonest or blameworthy in some other way, he (or she) will report the facts to court and ask for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order (BRO) to be made. The court will consider this report and any other evidence put before it, and will decide whether it should make a BRO. If it does, the bankrupt will be subject to certain restrictions for the period stated in the order. This can be from 2 to 15 years.

The bankrupt may instead agree to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking (BRU) which has the same effect as an order, but will mean that the matter does not go to court.

These are restrictions set out in insolvency law that the bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months and include that bankrupts:

  • must disclose their status to a credit provider if they wish to get credit of more than £500
  • who carry on business in a different name from the name in which they were made bankrupt, they must disclose to those they wish to do business with the name (or trading style) under which they were made bankrupt
  • may not act as the director of a company nor take part in its promotion, formation or management unless they have a court’s permission to do so
  • may not act as an insolvency practitioner, or as the receiver or manager of the property of a company on behalf of debenture holders

Additionally, a person subject to a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order/Undertaking or a Debt Relief Restrictions Order/Undertaking may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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Published 21 January 2016