The Bankruptcy Process In Hong Kong
Probably the scariest part of the bankruptcy process is trying to come to terms with the fact that you need to go through with it.
Let us face it; bankruptcy has failure written all over it. Regardless if your need to file for bankruptcy was caused by factors that you have no control over, it would still give you a feeling of helplessness. Even if you lost everything because you had to pay for expensive medical bills or due to a failed business, nothing would erase the fact that somewhere along the way, you failed in managing your finances. Realizing this failure is a painful reality to swallow.
While you may be feeling down because of the prospect of bankruptcy, you need to pick yourself up and face the music. Just remember, when you reach the bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. Try to be brave enough to complete the bankruptcy process if that is the best course for you to follow at this point. The earlier you finish, the soon you can start rebuilding your personal finances.
But before you start, ask yourself first – is this the only option that you have left? Is there no other way for you to recover? If it is debt that is the problem, maybe there is something that you can sell to pay off your credit obligations. Or perhaps, you can negotiate with your creditors and lenders and propose a payment plan that you can afford.
In Hong Kong, you can file the Individual Voluntary Arrangement or IVA instead of bankruptcy. This is when you submit a payment proposal to the bankruptcy court and the creditor – a repayment plan that you can afford. In Hong Kong, you can file the Individual Voluntary Arrangement or IVA instead of bankruptcy. This is when you submit a payment proposal to the bankruptcy court and the creditor – a repayment plan that you can afford. If the court approves this, your creditors cannot come after you in court as long as you stick to the approved repayment plan. This will help you solve your debt troubles and at the same time, avoid the adverse effects of bankruptcy.
If you have exhausted all efforts to fix your financial position and still nothing worked, then you can go ahead and start the bankruptcy process.
What happens when you file for bankruptcy in Hong Kong
Based on the guide provided in the Official Receiver’s Office website, everything that you need to do will be under the Bankruptcy Ordinance.
This ordinance will serve as your guide in dealing with the creditor or lender that you are unable to pay as the debtor. Take note that there are times when the creditor will initiate the bankruptcy petition against you if you fail to pay your credit obligations.
The Bankruptcy Ordinance, according to the website, will do two things:
- Collect any personal assets that can be liquidated so it will be used as payment replacement for your debts.
- Investigate why you became insolvent and initiate sanctions in case you are found guilty of breaching any provisions imposed by the bankruptcy court.
To file a debtor’s petition, you need to go through the following steps:
Accomplish a “Debtor’s Bankruptcy Petition” (Form 3) and a “State of Affairs (Debtor’s Petition)” (Form 28C). Both of these documents can be downloaded for free from the Official Receiver’s Office website, and you need to pay HK$18 for each form. You can also get this from the Publication Sales Section of the ISD or through its website (isd.gov.hk). You also have the option to order through fax (2523-7195).
- Pay a deposit of HK$8,000 to the Official Receiver (trustee). This will cover all the fees and expenses that the trustee will incur while processing your petition.
- Make sure the Petition is attested, and the Statement of Affairs is sworn.
- Proceed to the Registry of the High Court to do three things: pay HK$1,045 as the court fee, schedule a date of hearing on the Petition, and file both the Petition and the Statement of Affairs.
- Seal a copy of both the Petition and the Statement of Affairs and submit to the Official Receiver.
After Submitting Necessary Documents
Once you have submitted these documents, you or any of your assets can no longer be involved in any other bankruptcy petition. Not only that, you are giving the Official Receiver the authority to become the provisional trustee for your assets.
Take note that while you are going through the bankruptcy process, you cannot practice certain professions – specifically, those that will require a license (lawyer, agent, etc.). In case you own your house, you will be allowed to continue living in it – but you will be expected to make the necessary arrangements to live elsewhere as soon as possible.
To make the process as smooth as possible, you need to cooperate with the trustee completely. If they require you to attend a meeting or to submit something that will expedite the procedure, you have to comply. It is also important, to be honest about everything that you will submit. That will keep you from getting into more trouble – both legally and financially. You will also be prevented from making new credit transactions – but you may be allowed to open a savings account – for compensation purposes.
Be careful about talking to your creditors or sending them payments directly – it should only be through the trustee.
How to recover from the effects of bankruptcy
The effects of the bankruptcy process will depend on your personal resolution to recover from this financial blunder. Here are some tips that will help you go through this as soon as you can.
- Know what caused you to declare bankruptcy. According to an article published in the South China Morning Post, personal bankruptcy in Hong Kong is usually resulting from the spending habit. If this is the cause of your financial difficulties, then you need to learn how to manage your finances well.
- Set financial goals. The best way to rebound after the bankruptcy process is to set new financial goals. You can start small by building your emergency fund. Set a reasonable goal – sooner or later, you can start building the assets that you lost because of bankruptcy.
- Start rebuilding your credit history. Your recent bankruptcy stint will ruin your credit history – but this will not be felt Start using credit again but this time, use it wisely. Pay it off in time and make sure you will not borrow more than what you can pay back.
- Be positive. As devastating as bankruptcy may be, it is not the end of the world. You just have to keep a positive attitude and believe that the best is yet to come. Learn from the mistakes of the past and find support in the people around you. Some of the most successful businesswomen in the world had to file for bankruptcy but ended up being financially triumphant after the fact.