If you have come in to money following a bankruptcy petition - they might be at risk. Let our team help you avoid mistakes.
If a bankrupt acquires property after the making of the bankruptcy order, such as receiving an inheritance from a family member or winning sums on the lottery (which are known as after acquired assets), the trustee in bankruptcy can claim the after acquired asset for the benefit of the creditors of the bankruptcy estate.
The trustee in bankruptcy may claim an after acquired asset even if the trustee in bankruptcy only becomes aware of the after acquired assets after the bankrupt has been discharged from their bankruptcy, providing that the after acquired asset was obtained by the bankrupt between the date of the bankruptcy order and the date of discharge.
Does a bankrupt have a duty to disclose an after acquired asset?
A bankrupt has a legal obligation to provide notice of any after acquired assets obtained between the date of the bankruptcy order and the date of their discharge from the bankruptcy.
A bankrupt must notify the Official Receiver or trustee in bankruptcy of the after acquired asset within 21 days of becoming aware of its existence.
What happens if a bankrupt does not disclose an after acquired asset?
If a bankrupt fails without reasonable excuse to disclose an after acquired asset, they can be found guilty of contempt of court and may be liable to imprisonment and/or a fine.
In addition, if a bankrupt has not yet been discharged from their bankruptcy, the Official Receiver or trustee in bankruptcy may apply to the court for a suspension of the bankrupt’s discharge from the bankruptcy or a bankruptcy restrictions order.
Does the after acquired asset automatically form part of the bankruptcy estate?
Just because a bankrupt notifies the Official Receiver or trustee in bankruptcy of the after acquired asset, does not automatically mean that the bankrupt loses the asset and it becomes part of their bankruptcy estate.
The Official Receiver or trustee in bankruptcy has 42 days from the date which it first came to their knowledge that the after acquired asset had been acquired by or given to the bankrupt to make a claim for the after acquired asset.
If the Official Receiver or trustee in bankruptcy do not serve a notice claiming the after acquired asset within 42 days of receiving notice of the after acquired asset, normally unless the court extends the time period for serving the notice, the asset will not form part of the bankruptcy estate and can remain with the bankrupt.
If you are bankrupt and have received inheritance or a lottery win please do not hesitate to contact our bankruptcy team for help.