Bishop & Sewell

Bishop & Sewell has built a strong practice supporting insolvency professionals across England and Wales in personal insolvency actions. Specialist solicitor Stephen Wade leads the team.

In 2022, 118,850 personal insolvencies were registered in the UK comprising a mix of bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangements and debt relief orders. Personal insolvency in whatever form it takes will always be a difficult time for everyone involved. It calls for an experienced solicitor supported by a team of specialist lawyers. For almost three decades, Stephen and his team have worked closely with insolvency practitioners to recover assets to meet the debts owed to creditors that can result in taking possession of property and other valuable assets.

Whilst never a decision taken lightly, in some instances creditors are left with no other option but to issue formal legal proceedings to put the affairs of debtors in the hands of a trustee.

In many instances, the most valuable asset owned by an individual will be real property. It is rarely an easy decision to make to seek possession of a family home, but where an individual refuses or continuously chooses to frustrate the actions of insolvency practitioners there will be little or no option but to take legal action.

It is a well-regulated process that is driven through the courts. 1 year after the bankruptcy order, the rights of the creditors will take precedence over all other interests and an order for possession and sale will be granted in all but the most exceptional circumstances.  Such circumstances may include where a house has been modified to cater for a person with a serious disability.  Even then, in nearly all case the order for sale will be merely delayed rather than refused.

The personal insolvency regime may soon, however, change following a consultation that opened at the end of the summer. The consultation is looking at three areas:

  • The purpose of the personal insolvency framework and the balance between allowing debtors to move on and allowing creditors to recover their debts;
  • Funding personal insolvency procedures; and
  • Whether the existing personal insolvency procedures are fit for purpose.

The Government is expected to report on the findings of this consultation in 2024 and has indicated that major improvements to benefit both debtors and creditors.


Contact our Insolvency and Debt Recovery team

Stephen Wade, is a Partner specialising in Insolvency and Debt Recovery in our expert Dispute Resolution team. You can contact him on 020 7692 7578 or you can email him on

The above is accurate as at 07 November 2023. The information above may be subject to change.

The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Category: Blog, News | Date: 7th Nov 2023

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