Personal Insolvency Act 2012

178.

Complaints against personal insolvency practitioners.

178.— (1) A person may make a complaint in writing to the Insolvency Service alleging that improper conduct by a personal insolvency practitioner has occurred or is occurring.

(2) Where the Insolvency Service receives a complaint it shall—

( a) notify the personal insolvency practitioner concerned in writing of the receipt of the complaint,

( b) provide the personal insolvency practitioner with a copy of the complaint and a copy of any documents furnished to the Insolvency Service by the complainant,

( c) refer the personal insolvency practitioner to any regulations made under sections 161 and 173 and to any guidelines or codes of practice issued under section 137 , and

( d) request the personal insolvency practitioner to provide a response in relation to the complaint within a time specified in the notification.

(3) Where the Insolvency Service receives a response to the request referred to in subsection (2)(d) it shall consider the response and having considered the response it may, where—

( a) it is satisfied that the complaint is not made in good faith,

( b) it is satisfied that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or without substance or foundation, or

( c) subject to subsection (6), it is satisfied that the complaint is likely to be resolved by mediation or other informal means between the parties concerned,

determine the complaint accordingly and in that case it shall give notice in writing to the complainant and the personal insolvency practitioner to whom the complaint relates of the decision and the reasons for the decision.

(4) Where the Insolvency Service does not receive a response to the request referred to in subsection (2)(d), or having received a response it considers that none of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (3) apply, it shall cause an investigation of the matter the subject of the complaint to be carried out.

(5) Where a complaint is withdrawn by a complainant before the investigation report which relates to the complaint has been furnished by the inspector concerned pursuant to section 182(2) , the Insolvency Service may proceed as if the complaint had not been withdrawn if it is satisfied that there is good and sufficient reason for so doing.

(6) Where, pursuant to subsection (5), the Insolvency Service proceeds as if a complaint had not been withdrawn, the investigation concerned shall thereupon be treated as an investigation initiated by the Insolvency Service, and the other provisions of this Act shall be construed accordingly.

(7) Where a complaint is not resolved by mediation or other informal means referred to in subsection (3)(c), the complainant may, at his or her discretion, make a fresh complaint in respect of the matter the subject of the first-mentioned complaint.