Key areas of change and their practical implications include:
Physical creditors' meetings discouraged – No S.98 meetings again!
An office-holder can no longer call a physical meeting of creditors unless requested to do so by a minimum number of creditors - S.98 meetings and final meetings abolished. Office holders will not summon physical meetings of creditors unless requested by to do so by either 10 per cent of the creditors in value, 10 per cent of the total number of creditors or 10 individual creditors, as brought into the Insolvency Act 1986 by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
Creditors' meetings - Deemed consent
A new alternative process for decision making – not applicable for fee approval or approving a voluntary arrangement.
Alternative decision making
As an alternative to deemed consent, decisions can also be made by electronic voting, correspondence, virtual meetings, physical meetings, or any other procedure that enables all creditors entitled to participate in the making of the decision to participate equally.
Changes to office-holder reports and communications
Creditors will be allowed to opt out of communications sent by the insolvency office-holder but are able to opt back in at any time. This doesn’t apply to all communications.
Encouragement of email communications
Previously needed creditors consent, no longer.
Improvements to use of websites
Office-holders can now give notice to creditors that future notices will be published on a website without further notification to creditors or permission from the court - subject to certain exceptions, e.g., documents requiring personal delivery.
Deemed proof of low value debts (less than £1,000)
An office-holder may decide to treat that debt as proved for the purpose of payment of a dividend.
Automatic appointment of official receiver as first trustee immediately upon the making of a bankruptcy order
Technical change so that there is no longer any delay between the making of the bankruptcy order and the automatic vesting of property in a trustee.
All reference to statutory forms are removed replacing them with individual rules that set out the content requirements of prescribed notices and documents – the intention is to future-proof the rules. Note: Companies House is still likely to retain its forms.