‘Preference’ occurs when a particular creditor is placed in a more beneficial position, to the detriment of the remaining creditors in that group. Examples of preferential payments include;
- Repaying a loan from someone connected to the company, such as a director’s relative; or
- Ensuring that a creditor is paid in order to encourage an ongoing professional relationship post-insolvency.
Under preferential payment claims, it’s not just the insolvent company directors who can find themselves in hot water. Creditors who receive repayments may think “thank goodness I got paid before they went bust’ but that’s not as clear cut as it seems…
Where Insolvency Practitioners or Liquidators suspect ‘preferential payment’ the creditor may be asked to repay the monies in order for the estates debts to be recovered to all creditors fairly. A Liquidator can apply for a Court Order which requires the creditor to return the money. It is possible for these cases to be commercially settled out of court, but they require an expert insolvency legal professional to defend the claim.