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Mention insolvency advice and you might think about companies going into administration, or individuals trying to deal with unmanageable levels of personal debt – but you might not associate it with fighting fraud.

However, the insolvency industry and its representative body R3 are now pointing out the potential for insolvency advice to be used in the fight against fraud.

Specifically, they explain that insolvency practitioners have certain powers to allow them to pursue fraudsters and return ill-gotten money to the victims – in some cases, stronger powers than many other organisations with a similar remit.

R3 president Phillip Sykes says: “The re-introduction of criminal bankruptcy, or making fraudsters bankrupt in the public interest, for example, would extend the circumstances in which an insolvency practitioner can pursue all of a fraudster’s assets on behalf of creditors.”

Interestingly, there is still a connection with personal debt, as 22% of people who said they are extremely worried about their debt levels had been hit by fraud in the past 12 months, compared with just 7% of not-worried individuals.