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Insolvency Service - Government Department


Insolvency Service - Bankrupts


About the Insolvency Service

The Insolvency Service operates under a statutory framework – mainly the Insolvency Acts 1986 and 2000, the Company Directors Disqualifications Act 1986 and the Employment Rights Act 1996. Their staff are based at their network of thirty eight Official Receiver offices throughout England and Wales; their Enforcement Directorate and Headquarters in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh; their Banking Section in Birmingham; and their Redundancy Payments offices in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Watford. As of 1st April 2006 Companies Investigation Branch of BERR transferred to The Service and is based in offices in both London and Manchester.

The Law in England and Wales relating to bankruptcy is different to that in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Scottish individual insolvency (bankruptcy) law changed on 1 April 2008. Information on the changes is available on the website of the Accountant in Bankruptcy and can be accessed on the folowing link.

What The Insolvency Service Do:

  • administer and investigate the affairs of bankrupts, of companies and partnerships wound up by the court, and establish why they became insolvent
  • act as trustee/liquidator where no private sector insolvency practitioner is appointed
  • act as nominee and supervisor in fast-track individual voluntary arrangements
  • take forward reports of bankrupts’ and directors’ misconduct
  • deal with the disqualification of unfit directors in all corporate failures
  • deal with bankruptcy restrictions orders and undertakings
  • authorise and regulate the insolvency profession
  • assess and pay statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay its employees
  • provide banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds
  • advise BERR ministers and other government departments and agencies on insolvency, redundancy and related issues
  • provide information to the public on insolvency and redundancy matters via our website, leaflets, Insolvency Enquiry Line and Redundancy Payments Helpline
  • conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into companies where it is in the public interest to do so. These enquiries are carried out by Companies Investigation Branch