Complain about an insolvency practitioner

Many times, a debtor complains against unruly behaviour of an insolvency practitioner in the matters of debt and bankruptcy affairs. If you too find an insolvency practitioner’s professional conduct inaccurate, you can raise your voice against their improper bhaviour and can approach their authorising body. You should know which authorising body you need to contact and how to lodge a complaint to initiate an investigation into the professional conduct of the insolvency practitioner.

Who are insolvency practitioners?

Professional solicitors or expert accountants who have adequate experience in insolvency affairs are generally appointed as insolvency practitioners. These insolvency practitioners act as:
A trustee in bankruptcy affairs where they get authority on a bankrupt's assets to sell them and distribute the realised amount among the creditors.
A supervisor in an IVA or individual voluntary arrangement which is an alternative to bankruptcy. Here they manage the repayment plans of a debtor enabling him or her to successfully pay off all the amounts to all the creditors.
Authorising body of insolvency practitioners

There are authorising bodies that give licenses to insolvency practitioners. These bodies are responsible for the professional conducts of the insolvency practitioners and can investigate the complaints lodged against them by the debtors.

You can lodge your complaints against any insolvency practitioner with an authorising body that will investigate the matter including the following issues:
An unprofessional conduct of an insolvency practitioner.
An insolvency practitioner’s unethical behaviour experienced by a debtor.
Inappropriate or unjust practices in the debt and bankruptcy affairs.
Actions on your complain

Once you make a formal complain with the authorising body of an insolvency practitioner, as a first measure, the body will seek that the insolvency practitioner should resolve the issue with you. The body will demand that the insolvency practitioner must change any inappropriate procedure or practice that has been complained against by you.

However, an authorising body has no authority to:
annul or revise any decision made by an insolvency practitioner in your case
interfere directly in the affairs related to your bankruptcy or IVA
offer assistance in the affairs related to your bankruptcy or IVA
If you are not contented with the investigations and measures taken by an authorising body into your complains against an insolvency practitioner, you need to seek an independent legal advice from a lawyer and seek a court’s intervention to get justice into your matters. Only a court can look into your complaints and has the power to revise and alter the decisions made by an insolvency practitioner.

How to lodge your complaint

You can lodge a complaint against an insolvency practitioner by following these steps:

Step one: At first try to resolve the issue with the insolvency practitioner directly and write to him or her about your grievances.

Step two: If you don’t get a satisfactory response from the insolvency practitioner following your written complaint to him or her, you may now approach their authorising body with your written complaint.

Step three: Each of the authorising bodies follow their own set of rules to look into your complaints against their insolvency practitioners. You need to find out an authorising body that can be relevant to your case. In order to find an authorising body with a favourable set of rules, you can:
Ask the insolvency practitioner about various authorising bodies.
Make online search in the online directories of insolvency practitioners.
Make a call at the Insolvency Enquiry Helpline no. at 0845 602 9848, between 8.00 am and 5.00 pm from Monday to Friday.
Insolvency practitioners authorised by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

Your complaints lodged against insolvency practitioners, who have been authorised by the BIS, are handled by the Insolvency Practitioner Unit (IPU).

You can make your complaint in writing to the IPU and must include theses details in your communication:
Name and number of your bankruptcy case.
The name of the insolvency practitioner.
The company name and office address of the insolvency practitioner.
Copies of communication substantiating your complaint.
Details of your complain.

IPU’s action on your complaint

After receiving your written complain against a BIS authorised insolvency practitioner, the IPU will reply to your complain within 15 working days. A written acknowledgement will be sent to you against your complaint. They will also point out the process to deal with your complain. The IPU can’t impose disciplinary actions or penalties on an insolvency practitioner. Neither can it instruct the insolvency practitioner to compensate your any loss because of inappropriate decision made by the insolvency practitioner.

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