Property tycoon’s IVA plan rejected

Posted: 18th August 2012

A residential property developer has suffered a setback in his fight to dig himself out of the mountain of debt left by the collapse of his business.

Country EstateYork property tycoon Kevin Linfoot’s company went into voluntary liquidation in 2009. His assets were valued at £184,501 as against an 'estimated deficiency' of more than £7.5 million. Under the terms of an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), he agreed to pay £2,700-a-month for five years, a total of £162,000.

Amongst his assets were a stately home, Ravenswick Hall, and a development plot, valued at £4 million and £2.6 million respectively, but which were both heavily mortgaged.

The applicant went to court after a creditors' meeting refused to sanction an amendment to his IVA. He had wanted the monthly payments and sums due from the sale of some vehicle number plates to be paid by a third party.

Two banks, both secured creditors, had voted against the amendment which was blocked after the applicant failed to achieve the required 75% majority of creditors in its favour.

The applicant argued that the supervisor of his IVA had been wrong to allow the banks to cast votes at the meeting on the basis that they were jointly owed more than £2.5 million.

His lawyers submitted that the meeting should have been adjourned in order for there to be an investigation of offers to purchase the stately home for £4,678,000 and the development plot for £2,600,000.

However, Judge John Behrens upheld decisions made by the IVA supervisor and dismissed the application. The ruling means that the applicant remains personally liable under the terms of his IVA.