A Clean Break?

Just under a year ago we highlighted one of the more high profile Bankruptcy Restriction Orders (‘BRO’) issued to Willie Thorne, a former world-ranking professional snooker player. Willie borrowed upwards of £1million from friends and acquaintances and apparently gambled much of it away. The Official Receiver (‘OR’) can be paraphrased as saying a six year BRO will afford some protection to creditors and hopefully deter reckless action in the future.

Recall that BROs will impose restrictions on individuals who are declared bankrupt…restrictions that could be imposed for a maximum of 15 years…that’s quite a long time to be subjected to restrictions that can affect holding public and corporate office or raising personal finance. Breaching a BRO could lead to a heavy fine or a custodial sentence.

It appears that the OR still has sights set on what is considered reckless behaviour for those who blow their money on luxuries instead of paying their debts. The OR handed out 97 BROs for dissipating assets in 2016/17 compared with 78 in the previous year. This translates into a 24% increase in BROs in the last 12 months. It does seem that hitting people hard in the hope that it will stop the same thing happening again is a little bit like closing the door after the horse has bolted. Nonetheless, the tolerance for those perceived to be shirking a duty to pay what they owe, seems to be wearing thin.

If you feel you might be affected by BROs or other issues associated with Bankruptcy, please contact us for a free consultation.