In a ground breaking decision the County Court in Tunbridge Wells has granted the use of Social Media for notifying a Bankrupt of the terms of Orders made in relation to their bankruptcy where they themselves have failed to engage with the proceedings.
The ruling relates to the bankruptcy of a Ferrari dealer and his failure to cooperate with the Official Receiver and his Trustee, Quantuma LLP. Following a Court Order in February 2012 which automatically suspended the Debtor from releasing his debts, he persisted in failing to cooperate with Quantuma and ignored letters and other communications sent to him by their solicitors, Harrison Clark Rickerbys. Quantuma subsequently discovered that the Debtor was still continuing to trade and was particularly active on Facebook.
Quantuma LLP applied for an Order that the Debtor appear at Court to be examined on oath as to his financial circumstances. Process Servers were instructed to serve Notice of Application personally upon the Debtor at his home in London.
Despite the Ferrari dealer agreeing to meet with the Process Servers he failed to attend and notified them that he was returning to Romania.
As a result District Judge Lethem made an Order on 22nd October 2014 requiring the Debtor to appear before the Court to be examined and gave the Trustee permission to notify him by means of posting a Notice in specified terms on the Debtor’s Facebook account. The decision was sealed on Friday 6th February 2015.
Chris Newell of Quantuma LLP said: “This is understood to be the first decision of the Bankruptcy Court of its type and shows that the Court is increasingly prepared to adopt a modern and practical approach to assist Trustees in Bankruptcy in dealing with difficult Debtors”.
Derek Jones, Partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys added: “As a leading law firm dealing with insolvency work throughout the country we were delighted to assist Quantuma with this ground breaking case”.
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