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02/03/2017

Court of Appeal decision brings clarity to IVAs on PPI refunds

A Court of Appeal decision handed down yesterday (1 March) has significant implications for thousands of personal insolvency procedures, says insolvency trade body R3.

The Court of Appeal’s judgment in the case of Green v Wright has clarified what should happen to payment protection insurance (PPI) refunds paid to people who have completed an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), a form of insolvency.

The decision means that certain PPI refunds should go to the supervisor of the IVA, in order to distribute the money to the debtor’s creditors, even if the debtor has previously been awarded a certificate of completion to mark the end of their IVA.

The debtor at the centre of the case had a type of IVA called an ‘all assets’ IVA, in which the debtor agrees that all their assets are subject to the terms of the IVA. This case will affect similar IVAs.

Mark Sands, chair of R3’s personal insolvency committee, says:

“The Green v Wright appeal judgment is a welcome clarification for insolvency practitioners, debtors, and creditors on what should happen to assets that come to light after a completion statement has been issued.

“As a result of uncertainty over the case, the completion of some IVAs has been delayed while supervisors awaited a final judgment. In many of the cases affected by the judgment, supervisors should now be able to finalise the closure of these cases without delay, and debtors will be relieved to be able to receive their IVA completion certificates.

“The judgment has important ramifications for current and future IVAs. This is a crucial reminder for debtors that when they agree that all their assets are affected by an IVA, this includes assets they don’t know they have at the time the agreement is made.”

IVAs constitute over half of all new personal insolvency procedures: there were 49,700 IVAs in 2016 (out of 90,900 total insolvencies). There are currently 192,000 ongoing IVAs, and 190,300 IVAs have been completed since 2000.

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see www.r3.org.uk for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
     
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.