UK Government

Insolvency Service (National): Local car dealer given bankruptcy restrictions order following investigation by the Official Receiver

Press Release   •   Sep 30, 2010 12:16 BST

Christian Andrew David Fowler, a car dealer from Newcastle-under-Lyme, was today given a three year Bankruptcy Restrictions Order at Stoke-on-Trent County Court as a result of an investigation by the Official Receiver on behalf of The Insolvency Service.  This means the restrictions by which Mr Fowler must abide as a bankrupt have been extended beyond the normal 12 months.

The court heard that between 12 -18 August 2009 Mr Fowler made preferential payments to a company he was associated with by securing finance (including obtaining funds via credit cards and a bank loan) totalling £60,960 to the detriment of his creditors at a time when he knew he was insolvent.  At the date of his bankruptcy, 20 August 2009, Mr Fowler’s liabilities exceeded £646,000.

Commenting on the case Steve Fearns, Official Receiver for Stoke said:

“The fact that Mr Fowler has been given a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order should reassure the public.  When a person who knows they are insolvent acts in a way that is of detriment to their creditors the Insolvency Service will investigate and may take action against them.”

Notes to editors

1  What is the role of the Official Receiver?  When a court has made an insolvency order (a personal bankruptcy against an individual or a winding-up order against a company) the Official Receiver, a civil servant of The insolvency Service with wide ranging statutory powers to obtain information, is responsible for collecting and protecting any assets for the benefit of creditors.  When the Official Receiver thinks there is cause to do so they can also investigate, in the public interest, the conduct and financial affairs of the bankrupt for the period leading up to the insolvency order being made.

2  What are Bankruptcy Restrictions?  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;

- may not be a Member of Parliament in England or Wales.

3  What are Bankruptcy Restrictions Orders and Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertakings?  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.

4  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. The Service also 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 is available from


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