Creditor Enforcement to Re-commence

Since June last year, the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 included temporary measures that prevented creditors from serving statutory demands or presenting winding up petitions, other than exceptional circumstances.

These measures have previously been extended with the latest extension up to 30 September 2021.  However, it has been announced today (8 September) no further extensions shall be sanctioned.  In short, creditors will be able to use statutory demands and winding up petitions to enforce debt positions with effect from 1 October.

In an effort to cushion the threatened explosion of winding up petitions, the removal of these temporary provisions has been tempered slightly by adding some interim provisions that will be in force until 31 March 2022:

  1. To protect businesses from creditors insisting on repayment of relatively small debts the current minimum debt threshold for a winding up petition has been increased from £750 to £10,000

 

  1. Creditors shall be required to seek proposals for payment from a debtor business, giving them 21 days for a response before they can proceed with winding up action.

However, existing restrictions will remain in place for commercial landlords whereby presenting winding up petitions against limited companies to repay commercial rent arrears built up during the pandemic is prohibited.  This is consistent with the continued moratorium over commercial landlords where tenants will remain protected from eviction until 31 March 2022, whilst the government implements a rent arbitration scheme to deal with commercial rent debts accrued during the pandemic.

In response to this announcement, Gary Pettit of PBC said,

“It was inevitable the CIGA moratorium on creditor enforcement would end, particularly as the interim provisions were becoming a “Debtors’ charter” and damaging the economy overall.  The hike in minimum petition debt is welcome and should be made a more permanent monetary limitation but time will tell.  With the likes of HMRC being unleashed on about 18 months’ worth of tax debts life could get challenging for businesses where debt has accrued.  The potential of an explosion of debt enforcement activity means businesses need to think about their position and take early advice as the earlier that advice is taken, the more options that are generally available.”

Should you have an insolvency-related issue then please contact Gary Pettit at PBC Business Recovery & Insolvency on (01604) 212150 (Northampton office) or (01234) 834886 (Bedford office). Alternatively, you may send an email to garypettit@pbcbusinessrecovery.co.uk or access our website at www.pbcbusinessrecovery.co.uk