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Investigation Powers

How can a Trustee In Bankruptcy use Section 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to investigate a bankrupt’s financial affairs?

Section 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986 is the Section that enables an Insolvency Practitioner to obtain information from the Bankrupt whose estate is being managed by creating a duty to cooperate. Sections 311, 312, 333 and 366 of the Insolvency Act 1986 are all interlinked.

Section 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986 can be used to obtain information from the Bankrupt relevant to his or her financial affairs that the Insolvency Practitioner reasonably requires. The Section is mandatory; the Bankrupt has a duty to cooperate with the Insolvency Practitioner who is acting as the Trustee in Bankruptcy. A refusal by a Bankrupt to cooperate with his or her Trustee can lead to an arrest being made and even imprisonment.

The Section survives the bankrupt’s discharge from bankruptcy and continues to apply so long as the estate is open and the subject of investigations.


Duties of bankrupt in relation to trustee.

(1)The bankrupt shall—
(a)give to the trustee such information as to his affairs,
(b)attend on the trustee at such times, and
(c)do all such other things,
as the trustee may for the purposes of carrying out his functions under any of this Group of Parts reasonably require.

(2)Where at any time after the commencement of the bankruptcy any property is acquired by, or devolves upon, the bankrupt or there is an increase of the bankrupt’s income, the bankrupt shall, within the prescribed period, give the trustee notice of the property or, as the case may be, of the increase.

(3)Subsection (1) applies to a bankrupt after his discharge.

(4)If the bankrupt without reasonable excuse fails to comply with any obligation imposed by this section, he is guilty of a contempt of court and liable to be punished accordingly (in addition to any other punishment to which he may be subject).

Section 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986

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This page: Section 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986 is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Section 333 of the Insolvency Act 1986 is provided for information purposes only. You can Contact Us on the specific facts of your case to obtain relevant advice via a Free Initial Consultation.