The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has proved a lifeline to many businesses struggling over lockdown and helping them avoid liquidation. When it comes to closing down a limited company, a bounce back loan is classed as an unsecured debt and will be written off.
Can I liquidate my company if I have a Bounce Back Loan?
Even with the extra funds, businesses may find continuing to trade unfeasible in the current climate. If your company has become insolvent, recovery may not be an option. You can still liquidate an insolvent company via Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL) if you’ve taken out a Bounce Back Loan.More options for company closure
What happens to my Bounce Back Loan if I close my company?
Although banks are often considered secured creditors, with the owed debts fixed over company assets. However, this is not the case with a Bounce Back Loan.
If your company does go into liquidation, your Bounce Back Loan becomes an unsecured debt. Unsecured debts are different from secured debts, where creditors such as banks and factoring companies hold charges over company assets to secure their funding. Unlike secured debts, unsecured debts, and their creditors don’t have substantial claims over company assets.
Can a Bounce Back Loan be written off?
Even with a Bounce Back Loan, your company may not be able to prevent itself from becoming insolvent.
A Bounce Back Loan is an unsecured debt. If the company has to liquidate, the lack of personal guarantees associated with the loan means it’s treated as an unsecured debt. Unsecured debt is written off once the company is liquidated, so you won’t be personally liable.
During liquidation, a liquidator investigates your company’s financial history leading up to and during the insolvency, and if they find evidence of improper use of your Bounce Back Loan, they could make you personally liable for the debt.
Am I personally liable for an unpaid Bounce Back Loan?
Normally, when a company goes into liquidation, any personal guarantees that the director may have signed to secure funding will crystallise. Afterwards, the director is personally liable for those amounts.
Bounce Back Loans are 100% guaranteed by the government, and thus free of personal guarantees for directors, who won’t be liable for the loaned funds in liquidation. Once the debt crystallises, the bank which provided that loan will demand repayment from the government and not the company’s director.
However, this, and the temporary relaxation of wrongful trading laws, doesn’t mean directors can get away with actions such as fraudulent trading or abuse of the BBLS. During the liquidation, the directors’ conduct is still investigated. If they’re found to have acted improperly, those directors could still be held personally liable.
What happens to redundancy pay?
When your company goes through the process of liquidation your employees become classed as a preferred creditor. This means they will be paid after secured creditors and will be entitled to arrears of wages and holiday pay.
If there is no money left available employees are still covered by the Redundancy Payment Service and employees can claim for:
- Any unpaid wages
- Redundancy Pay
- Pro-rate holiday
- Payment in lieu of any notice period
How we can help
If your business is struggling from coronavirus-related debt, regardless of whether you’re receiving funds through a Bounce Back Loan, speak to us. Our licensed insolvency practitioners have years of experience in business recovery and closure, and our friendly initial advisors can offer you free, impartial advice, with no obligation. Speak to us today and see how we can help you.
How to put a company into liquidation
If you are considering the liquidation of your company, we are licensed insolvency practitioners and are able to assess your situation and put your company into liquidation – this is known as a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL).
- Speak with our initial advisers through phone or online chat.
- After initial assessment we will identify if your company is viable for liquidation.
- We will propose to you the liquidation of your company and undertake the necessary steps.
All advice is free of charge and if a liquidation is viable it will result in the formal closure of your company, and any unsecured debts will be written off.
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) intends to help businesses struggling with debts incurred due to the coronavirus. However, even with a Bounce Back Loan, some companies may still have to liquidate, and directors may be worried about what will happen afterwards. A Bounce Back Loan won’t stop you liquidating your company, and the loan becomes an unsecured debt. You won’t be held personally liable for the loan unless your liquidator finds you’ve committed fraudulent trading or abused the scheme.
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