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Agencies & People

Former Humberts had TEN POUNDS left at bank as it went into administration

But administrators now say approximately £225,000 has been raised to pay creditors including pay and pensions owed to former staff.

Nigel Lewis


More details of estate agency Humberts UK Ltd’s surprise administration last year have been revealed including how the company had just £10.54 in the bank by the time its business account was frozen.

Humberts UK Ltd went into administration after being subject to a winding up order issued by HMRC, just 18 months after being saved from a previous administration when it was bought by holiday firm Natural Retreats and a regional hub model adopted.

Its two administrators employed by Begbies Traynor have been tying up its final financial position for its creditors since December, when staff were told the venerable and historic agency was to close.

The directly-operated part of the Humberts business was subsequently bought from the administrator by five of its franchisees in January last year.

Sales commission

An update from Begbies Traynor reveals that between June and December last year it realised commissions from Humberts clients’ properties that had not yet completed of £18,687, part of an overall £250,000 realised to date by ‘retained personnel’ who were former Humberts employees.

Of this £50,000 has been paid to its bank, HSBC, and the costs of administration have been, so far, £15,000.

The remaining £225,000 is to be distributed in part to the company’s secured creditor (HSBC), but Begbies Traynor says all of its preferred creditors including staff’s unpaid salary and pension payments will be paid in full as well as the government’s Redundancy Payment Service.

But unsecured creditors including HMRC will not be so lucky. “Based upon realisations to date and estimated future there will be insufficient funds available to enable a dividend to be paid to the unsecured creditors,” the administrators say.

January 14, 2021

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