FAQs on COVID-19 (TEMPORARY MEASURES) ACT (RELIEF MEASURES FOR BANKRUPTS)
1. How will the debtors benefit from the Act?
The Act aims to provide temporary relief to debtors from creditors’ legal action for up to 6 months from 20 April 2020. In cases where the statutory demand is served on the debtors on or after 20 April 2020, the statutory period for debtors to respond to the demands is extended from 21 days to 6 months under the Act.
In these cases, creditors will be prohibited from commencing bankruptcy proceedings for the recovery of debts.
The monetary threshold for a creditor to commence bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor is increased from $15,000 to $60,000 under the Act.
2. How long will the relief last for?
By default, the relief will last for 6 months from 20 April 2020. The Government will continue to monitor the situation and may adjust this period later.
3. What is the effective date of the new law?
The new law came into effect on 20 April 2020.
FAQs on COVID-19 (TEMPORARY MEASURES)(ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MEETINGS) (BANKRUPTCY) ORDER 2020
1. I am an insolvency practitioner and I am required to hold meetings within the circuit breaker period. Can I defer the meeting? If not, how can I proceed to hold the meeting?
The Order permits meetings whose due dates fall between 27 March and 30 September to be deferred. You may hence defer the meeting until you are able to hold the meeting either in persons or by relying on the alternative arrangements in the Order, to a date no later than 30 September 2020. Please refer to the Schedule within the Order for the details on how the meeting can be held via electronic means.
2. I am an insolvency practitioner and I am required to hold a Court-ordered or Court-directed meeting within the circuit breaker period. How should I hold the meeting?
This Order does not apply to meetings ordered or directed by the Court. For such meetings, you may wish to apply to the court to seek further directions or a variation of the orders (where applicable), as to the safe distancing measures that you intend to implement at such meetings.
3. How long will the alternative arrangements apply?
The alternative arrangements apply for the period starting on 27 March 2020 and ending on 30 September 2020.
The amendments to the Order, which came into force on 29 September 2020, has extended the application of the alternative arrangements to 30 June 2021.
4. How can I give notice of the meeting to be held by electronic means?
The notice of the meeting is to be given as follows:
(a) must be sent via email to each creditor who has notified the convenor of his or her
electronic mail address;
(b) must be published on the website of the convener or, where such a website is not
available, the website of the Official Assignee at https://io.mlaw.gov.sg;
(c) must describe the means by which the meeting can be electronically accessed (e.g.
(d) must set out how a creditor may vote at the meeting; and
(e) may be accompanied by any other documents relevant to the meeting.
5. How can the quorum for the alternative meeting be met?
The quorum may be met by creditors being personally or electronically present at the meeting. The requirements for verifying electronic presence are set out in the Schedule tothe Order.
6. What are the other refinements in the amendments to the Order that are applicable to insolvency-related meetings?
The following refinements were made in the amendments to the Order, which came into force on 29 September 2020:
(a) Real-time electronic voting: As long as certain prescribed safeguards are adopted and the entity still allows the attendees to vote by appointing the Chairman or convenor (as the case may be) as their proxy to vote. This option applies to meetings held or conducted on or after 1 October 2020, up to the expiry of the Order.
(b) Real-time Q&A: As long as the entity also allows the attendees to submit matters which they wish to raise at the meeting prior to the meeting by post or electronic mail.