The New Insolvency Moratorium

There are several measures included in the new Corporate Insolvency & Governance Act – some temporary such as the suspension of winding up petitions and wrongful trading provisions – but the most significant is the introduction of an Insolvency Moratorium.

What is the Insolvency Moratorium?

It grants businesses some ‘breathing space’ from creditors to allow a recovery plan to be formed to restructure the company’s debts.

In the first instance a break of 20 business days is automatically granted, but this could be further extended for another 20 business days if required. More extensions could also be granted but these would require creditors consent.

What does the moratorium do?

Unlike administration, directors retain control of the business and its day-to-day management.

Additionally all legal proceedings and recovery actions are put on hold, including, but not limited to:-

  • Winding up petitions
  • Appointment of administrators
  • Visits from High court enforcement officers and bailiffs
  • Landlord actions such as the forfeiture of a lease or commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR)

The company must also continue to pay the following during the moratorium period:-

  • The monitor’s fees and expenses (agreed between the monitor and the company)
  • For any goods or services provided during the period
  • All employment entitlements
  • Rent in respect of the moratorium period
  • Any liabilities arising under financial service contracts

How can the moratorium conclude?

There are a number of ways a moratorium can succeed including:-

  • Creditors approving a Company Voluntary Arrangement
  • Directors raising funds from personal assets to pay creditors
  • Additional investment obtained from shareholders
  • A business loan secured to consolidate company debts into manageable payments
  • Informal payment plan agreed with creditors
  • Time to Pay arrangement agreed with HMRC

Alternatively, if the company is unable to be rescued as a going concern, the moratorium will be ended and the company will likely have to enter into liquidation or administration.

A moratorium can’t be used to plan for a pre-pack administration, so the company would be exposed to creditor actions whilst preparing to commence the process.

Insolvency moratoriums will be an extremely useful tool for insolvency practitioners to assist companies with rescuing and restructuring.

We’ve covered moratoriums in more detail here but If your business is under significant pressure, get in touch with us to find out how you could benefit from the latest insolvency tool.