Insolvency practioner failure - property gone bona vacantia / escheat

julesw1lkojulesw1lko Forumite
4 Posts
Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
MoneySaving Newbie
I was wondering - Has anyone else experienced the above? 

Basically I've discovered, upon trying to remortgage my house, that my insolvency practioner didn't do the necessary paper work, and my house (that had the beneficial interest purchased) has gone "Bona vacantia" / escheat. 

It's a year since we started the process, now £20,000 in legal fees paying a lawyer and a barrister to go to court and with the Duchy of Lancaster - and had the first day in court kicked back - as the judge has said that they've got the process wrong in some way, and something else missing. 

So - Annoyingly - the firm Berry and Co no longer exist, and the bankruptcy was in 2011 - which hasn't helped.

(I've got plenty of contemperanous evidence that something was going wrong - Like - I never got any discharge paperwork etc)


Replies

  • Minkym00Minkym00 Forumite
    670 Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
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    I would imagine that this is incredibly rare. FRP Advisory were the company that managed the liquidation of Berry & Co, have you made contact with to see if they have any of the company’s records in relation to your bankruptcy? They were only released in September so, if they do, they may still have them.

    https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/06608400/insolvency
  • julesw1lkojulesw1lko Forumite
    4 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Yeah - I contacted Ben and everything has gone "AWOL" in terms of paperwork. 
    But ultimately - Because it was something Berry and Co didn't do at the time, I'm left in the current state. 

    Apparently it appears that I can't sell my home or remortgage it. 

    We spent many months trying to sort out what had gone on with HMLR and a Conveyancing solicitor - but they got no where, which is when we turned to a law firm that said they could do the job. 

    But right now, after so much money that I've had to borrow on credit cards and loans, I'm haemorrhaging money in interest, but to be told (it seems) the court have said that the law firm and the barrister haven't given me the correct advice. 


  • Minkym00Minkym00 Forumite
    670 Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
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    It's worth remembering that it's the person who is the trustee, not the company. Has the trustee moved to another firm? 

    The trustee could possibly be held personally liable for this mistake - have you looked into that?
  • julesw1lkojulesw1lko Forumite
    4 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Heya there Minky,
    Yeah - I've been wondering about the trustee being liable - But - I dont know who could take that on. 
    I've tried a few different firms from googling around - but they aren't interested with it being "not significant". 
    Which is alright for them to say, it's not insignificant for me, that's for sure.

    But indeed-  The trustee is now working for another firm - As Berry and Co then merged with another company and then liquidated. 

    Interestingly - he was also sanctioned last year in his role with the new firm. 

    But yeah - I guess I'm already at my financial wits end. 

    But hearing back from the law firm today that's taken my £20k, as I've now asked three other lawyers for feedback on the court date - And they've all come back with the law firm have cocked up - Lets see if they admit it. 

    So... I've been screwed by an insolvency practitioner and a law firm now. 

  • Minkym00Minkym00 Forumite
    670 Posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
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    I don’t believe any of the contributors on here are legally trained and this is a bit of a specialist question.

    If it were me, I would raise a complaint with the trustee (cc’ing in the senior partner of the firm). The trustee should have professional indemnity insurance to cover themselves for these sorts of issues.

    Also, complain to the Insolvency Service here: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-insolvency-practitioner. You are still eligible to complain as, although the issue happened in 2011, you have only discovered it recently. The OR may intervene in your behalf and i would certainly request that they do if you get nowhere with the trustee.
  • julesw1lkojulesw1lko Forumite
    4 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Yeah - That does appear to be the issue that apparently "It happens all the time" (as there's a department within the Duchy of Lancaster to deal with the problem).

    At the same time trying to find any lawyers who can deal with the issue appear to be thin on the ground. 
    Well - We found one - And even they've been unusure. 

    I guess I was hoping not exactly for direct advice as a "ahh hang on I encountered this speak to x y z". 

    But yeah - Intend to make a few complaints - But I've not even had a reply back for the Insolvency Service to answer whether I can make a complaint as he's no longer an insolvency practioner (apparently?). 

    Mean while... Sleepness nights abound as I lose money hand over fist :-/ 
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