A Statutory Demand is the first step towards bankruptcy proceedings against an individual.
There is no court involvement in the issue of the demand and the creditor can issue the demand as soon as the debt is due. If you ignore the statutory demand this is assumed to be an acknowledgement by you that the debt is valid and owing, and bankruptcy can follow.
However, the recent High Court case of Martin v McLaren Construction Ltd clarifies the law relating to Statutory Demands. In this case as the guarantor had not received a separate letter demanding payment of the personal guarantee before the personal insolvency proceedings had started then the guarantor could not be made bankrupt and the Statutory Demand was set aside.
In the eyes of the law, as a valid demand had not been served and the precondition for the presentation of a bankruptcy petition had therefore not been met. The Statutory Demand was therefore deemed to be invalid and the case was set aside under the Insolvency Rules pursuant to Rule 10.5 (5)(d).
If you receive a Statutory Demand it is essential to act quickly. You have an 18 day period from receipt of the Statutory Demand to challenge payment. The Commercial Litigation team at Wilson Browne Solicitors are experts in setting aside Statutory Demands and dealing with Personal Guarantees.