6. What should a bankrupt do or avoid doing after the granting of a bankruptcy order?
Things that should be done
Bankrupts should attend interviews arranged by the Official Receiver/Trustee. If a bankrupt fails to attend an initial interview arranged by the Trustee/Official Receiver, the Court may make a non-commencement order so that the bankruptcy period will be extended in effect. They should also attend subsequent meetings with their creditors regarding the future arrangement of their assets and income and the administration of the bankruptcy estate.
Bankrupts should hand over all of their assets (both local and overseas) to the Official Receiver/Trustee and submit all documents related to their assets such as bank account statements or business account books, etc. They should also inform the Official Receiver/Trustee of all of their income and earnings. Bankrupts may commit a bankruptcy offence and be liable to imprisonment if they fraudulently remove or transfer any part of their personal properties.
If the bankrupts are also civil servants, then the Official Receiver will inform the departmental secretary of the relevant government department, the Civil Services Bureau and the Treasury. If the bankrupts work in banks, then their employer must be informed. If the bankrupts work in another part of the private sector, however, then the Official Receiver/Trustee will not approach their employers unless it is necessary for the collection or investigation of the bankrupts' financial information.
Things that should NOT be done
Bankrupts should not make repayments directly to individual creditors without the approval of the Court and the Official Receiver/Trustee. They should stop using credit cards or applying for loans from financial institutions. They should also stop paying life insurance premiums.
Bankrupts will not be able to act as company directors and may not be able to practise in certain professions such as lawyer, estate agent or insurance agent, etc. They cannot purchase luxuries such as buying cars or travelling overseas unless they have reasonable grounds to do so.
Bankrupts may commit a bankruptcy offence and be liable to imprisonment if they try to quit Hong Kong and take with them personal assets that should be distributed among their creditors. Bankrupts may also be liable to imprisonment if they try to conceal or avoid receiving legal documents in the bankruptcy proceedings or cause any unnecessary delay in the proceedings.
For more details of bankruptcy offences, please refer to question 11.