A recent case has confirmed that if Debtors ignore bankruptcy proceedings they can have details of Orders made against them posted on their Facebook page by Trustees in Bankruptcy.

It appears that this is the first time a Trustee in Bankruptcy has been authorised to use social media to notify a Debtor.  This is welcome news for Trustees particularly where they are dealing with difficult Debtors who have failed to co-operate. 

Following a Judgment in the case of Re A Debtor (No 0274 of 2010) on 22 October 2014, District Judge Lethem confirmed that the Bankrupt could be notified by the Trustee in Bankruptcy by posting a notice on his Facebook page, that he had been ordered to appear before the court.

Evidence had been put before the Judge that the Debtor used his Facebook account regularly and therefore the Trustee in Bankruptcy had been allowed to notify the Debtor of the terms of the order by posting it on Facebook.

There appear to have been similar cases of using social media to effect service of proceedings. Mr Justice Lewison, in the case of Blaney v Persons Unknown (October 2009) allowed an injunction to be served by a claimant using Twitter. A message containing a link to the injunction was sent to an anonymous Twitter user. The High Court also ordered service of proceedings via Facebook in the case of AKO Capital LLP and Master Fund Limited v TFS Derivatives and others.

Social media can now be considered as an alternative means of effecting service if the party concerned is an active user; proof that the courts are now prepared to adopt a modern and practical approach to resolving particular issues.

About the author

Caroline Benfield Senior Associate

Caroline advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious personal and corporate insolvency matters.