On our monitoring visits we continue to come across cases that are not being properly progressed. This could be caused by historic issues, a change in staff members or staff being busy on other more pressing matters. This might have resulted in older cases with little or no activity being left on the shelf gathering dust.
In some cases this might not be impacting creditors financially, in that there was either no dividend prospect or you have already paid a dividend. However it is still important that you have processes in place for closing cases in a timely manner.
If there are funds available for a distribution, you must ensure you are taking steps to return these to creditors as quickly as possible.
The Insolvency Service publication “Insolvency Practitioner Regulation – regulatory objectives and oversight powers”, issued in December 2015, sets out the regulatory objectives for how the Insolvency Service wants the RPBs to carry out their regulatory functions. This includes examining whether IPs are bringing cases to an end in a timely manner and distributing funds to creditors in an effective way at appropriate times.
As a rule of thumb, we consider any case more than five years old to be aged. If you are aware that you have an aged portfolio, you should be examining these to determine what cases can be closed or what you need to do to progress them. That may require additional or a re-prioritisation of resource.