As recently published on our Talking Recovery blog, if a company owns property and that company is dissolved from the register at Companies House, what happens to the land it owns? The short answer is that it becomes ‘bona vacantia’ (literally ‘vacant goods’) and vests in the Crown.
But what happens next if the property is subject to an outstanding legal charge in favour of a secured creditor? Whilst the power of sale can still be exercised, it has generally been necessary to inform the treasury solicitor and seek consent to the sale, even if there was to be a shortfall against the secured debt. This inevitably increased both the time taken to sell and related costs.
The good news for secured creditors in the above scenario is that the Bona Vacantia Department of the Government Legal Department has now set out new guidelines, specifying a new procedure for dealing with these cases which will be trialled as of 1 July 2015.