Analysis of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Laws in USA, UK and UAE

By: Anant Tyagi

Earlier, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy law was not very clear in UAE and was very divided into various areas, resulting in complexity and confusion. After 2016 the new bankruptcy law has been created with the strong base to resolve any insolvency issues that the businesses face to protect. The bankruptcy law 2016 was established under commercial companies law to aid enterprises to which range under the small and medium-sized companies based in UAE and are facing economic challenges. The features of the bankruptcy law are as follows:

  1. Financial Recognition

The act aims to boost the concept of Financial restructuring by establishing a regulatory body known as the committee of financial reconstructing. A list will approve this particular committee’s role of experts who are well-versed in bankruptcy and financial reorganization to carry on the task.

  1. Composition

Under the new bankruptcy law, composition approaches are also available to assist the debtor in settling with the creditor. It is up to the creditors to accept the settlement or any part payment. For this arrangement to be possible, a condition must be fulfilled, stating that a debtor must not have stopped payment for more than 30 consecutive days. When the debtor makes an offer of composition, it is submitted to the court, which appoints an expert to analyze whether the composition of finance is sufficient or not.

If the offer of competition is accepted, the court will select an official in charge who will prepare a record of debtor’s creditors to submit to a court. Any composition has to be passed by most creators, which is equal to two-thirds of the debt and equally approved by the court.

Learn more about Insolvency and Bankruptcy with Enhelion’s Online Law firm certified Master Course!

  1. Restructuring and bankruptcy

This particular part of biography law 2016 deals with the restructuring process by aiding the debtors in applying for affection plan for a bankrupt business. It also provides for declaring the bankruptcy to fulfil the obligations. Either of debtor or creditor can request for the commencement of the bankruptcy process. It is required that bankruptcy should be declared within 30 days by the debtor.

When the court accepts the application, the official is selected for selling and reconstruction of business. Insolvency and bankruptcy code process of liquidation starts, the secured creditors are given more preference in the rank than ordinary creditors.

  1. Bounced cheques

Under the UAE law, any non-UAE national person signatory to a bounced cheque faces potential criminal liability. Similarly, in bankruptcy law penal provisions are to be stopped if it is proven that specified check was issued before the commencement of composition/ restructuring. The cheque amount will be added to the total debt of the debtor.

  1. Penalties

The complaint of the new bankruptcy law 2016 has to be backed by a variety of available penalties. The penalty aims to provide both imprisonment and substantial financial fines.

With the help of the new bankruptcy law that gives ample options to bypass bankruptcy, which earlier had a severe penalty for companies going through a bankruptcy is a welcome step in insolvency and bankruptcy. The new is debtor-friendly and provides a way for the companies to repay their debts while continuing the business instead of the older laws that forced companies to shut their operations completely whenever any financial difficulty arose. This law will encourage companies from around the world to enter the UAE market.

Learn more about Insolvency and Bankruptcy with Enhelion’s Online Law firm certified Master Course!

“A new law called corporate information insolvency, and governance act 2020 has been introduced by the United Kingdom with major reforms like “free-standing moratorium” and New Restructure plans. Under the new law, free-standing Moratorium will aid the companies to take shelter from creditor’s action. Under the insolvency and bankruptcy code 2016, whenever a company goes into the Moratorium period, distributor action save the company is not predetermined. Under the new law, free-standing Moratorium will ensure that a company can choose the company’s rescuing. The company is not forced to stick to the formal process, but if there is an informal process to rescue the company, it can even be used. Moratorium period is time-based to ensure that no misuse is taking place and the Moratorium is cancelled if it is final that a company cannot be rescued.” [1]

“Another form that has been introduced under the CIGA is the restructuring plan. The act had introduced a process in which the restructuring plan between the company and creditor required the creditors to vote and sanction the court. However, the cross-class cram-down method has been mentioned that states that the court has the power to give a plan sanction, it requires even if the majority of the class is against it.” [2]A restructuring plan can be approved by the court even if all the creditors are against it if the court feels that the creditors would not be worse off with the suggested Restructure plan than when no Restructure plan was approved.

Learn more about Insolvency and Bankruptcy with Enhelion’s Online Law firm certified Master Course!

The cross-class cram-down method’s possible effect is that the companies will have more flexibility whenever they are proceeding with the restructuring plan even in those situations where the consent of all creditor classes cannot be obtained. But this method also has its challenges because it is mentioned that the court can overrule the descending creditors and sanction the plan if they feel that under the proposed restructuring plan they would not be worse off if no restructuring plan was approved. It burdens court with the responsibility of doing valuations, which is very contentious because a market valuation keeps changing according to the market forces. With the new covid crisis, it will be very problematic for the courts to assume the economic market’s evaluation and outcomes.

One of the significant reforms is that earlier whenever the company was going through financial difficulties and bankruptcy process, the company’s supplier would always seek to get out of the contractual obligation and sever ties with the company rendering the company without any support. The present act will now prohibit the supplier from terminating the contract with the company when it goes into the restructuring plan. The company can focus on paying back their debts and keeping ongoing their business instead of just closing everything down.

Learn more about Insolvency and Bankruptcy with Enhelion’s Online Law firm certified Master Course!

The United States of America constitution has provided the US Congress with the power and authority to enact the laws of bankruptcy in the country. While exercising their power and discretion, the lawmakers passed the bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978 which has largely governed the country’s current bankruptcy law’s bankruptcy issues. The United States bankruptcy code is also referred to as tight 11. It contains the business and individuals’ procedure and practices to follow whenever they are filing for the bankruptcy under the United States Bankruptcy court. Under the US bankruptcy code, both companies and the individuals are allowed to file a bankruptcy petition and seek relief. The most common form of bankruptcy in the United States is mentioned in chapter 7, which also covers the liquidation process. The court appoints the trustee, and the trustee must collect all the non-exempt assets of the debtor.

When the creditors come to know about the company’s condition, it will force a company to file for bankruptcy. Still, apart from the UK and UAE law, the day the petition of bankruptcy is filed in the court, the business will cease to exist. It is up to the court-appointed trustee whether he allows certain operations of the company or not. When it comes to large companies, the trustee may decide to sell the company’s property loss-making division to another flourishing company. The preference is given to the secured creditors, usually the first ones to be paid back. As mentioned before, the US bankruptcy law provides for companies to file bankruptcy and offers individuals to file for liquidation in which they are allowed to keep specific exam properties, but it varies from state to state. The trustee will sell the other assets which are not under the exempt class to pay back the creditors. In the 2005 bankruptcy abuse prevention and Consumer Protection Act, an amendment was made that barred consumer debtors filing bankruptcy because it was felt that this provision would be misused by the credit card companies from losses, resulting in the customers going bankrupt. The act also provides for cross border insolvency state code incorporate with foreign courts to solve cross border insolvency cases. United States of America’s bankruptcy code is one of the oldest coats and is still prevalent without any new law being drafted in present time.

As we can see that the UAE bankruptcy laws for very old and had regressive laws with penal provisions which decided the companies from investing in UAE or any running companies in the UAE. Still, with the new law, they have provided a well-defined process to form restructure plans while running the business remove regressive penal punishments which is a welcome step and encourages the companies to continue their business while also returning the amount in debt instead of just punishing the people running the company and suffering Loss which is the ultimate goal of insolvency and bankruptcy laws.

“On the other hand, the United Kingdom has also introduced a new law for the information c and governance by giving major reforms like a free-standing moratorium that gives the company the freehand to determine the course of action which helps to rescue the company instead of just following the formal procedures and not getting any result. The UK has also given major power to the court to bypass the creditor’s Ascent for the restructure plan in case a court feels that this is the best records available for the company and is being blocked by the creditors for their greed of larger returns which will further worsen the situation.” [3] Meta reforms have also been provided by the act to ensure that the business does not close down and keep ongoing.

Learn more about Insolvency and Bankruptcy with Enhelion’s Online Law firm certified Master Course!

The bankruptcy code of The United States of America probably the oldest but the most reliable piece of legislation for dealing with insolvency but no significant amendments in the laws has made it behind the other laws. While the other laws understand the concept that that can only be paid when the company keeps on running the US law focuses on shutting down the company the day the petition of bankruptcy is filed which is a very regressive step because are not only the chances of getting the debt go down but also the economy suffers when the company closes down and incoming times the US government has to bring amendments to resolve this issue.

[1] corporate information insolvency and governance act 2020 by Andrew Mills and Paul Durban

[2] Pricewaterhouse coopers guide on UK Insolvency and Bankruptcy reforms

[3] Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978

Learn more about Insolvency and Bankruptcy with Enhelion’s Online Law firm certified Master Course!