We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Official Receiver?

By Theresa Miles
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An official receiver is a trustee appointed by the court in a bankruptcy proceeding who is charged with the task of liquidating assets and using any proceeds to pay outstanding debts on behalf of the bankrupt party. Once a court appoints a receiver, the bankrupt party is officially in receivership and has no control over the disposition of any assets that may still exist. In some countries, this position is filled by an administrative officer of the court or insolvency division, while in other countries the receiver can be an officer or a third party individual or entity that is appointed by the court to the position.

Bankruptcy proceedings require the court to identify a bankrupt party’s creditors, place them in the order of their right to collect on their debts, and determine whether there are any resources available from the bankrupt’s estate to pay some of them. Businesses typically enter bankruptcy while operational but without the necessary cash flow to meet debt obligations. When a business enters bankruptcy there are often substantial assets still in existence, such as real property or equipment. An official receiver is appointed to either liquidate all assets to pay creditors or to reorganize the business to make it profitable.

A receiver serves until the bankruptcy case closes, executing his duties as a fiduciary to protect creditors against improper allocations made by the bankruptcy, waste, or dissipation. Receivers work with the bankrupt but owe a duty to the creditors. When the bankrupt party has entered bankruptcy involuntarily by petition of its creditors, the relationship between the official receiver and the bankrupt can be investigative and adversarial.

In the UK, the title of Official Receiver (OR) is a specific designation in the Insolvency Service for the person that is tasked with overseeing liquidation. This person can be appointed by the court from staff employed to serve this function or can be an outside agency that specializes in receivership services. In the US, the court officially appoints a receiver, but the OR title is not used as such.

Receivership is not only applicable to bankruptcy cases. In other sorts of circumstances, the court can appoint an official receiver to operate a business or take control of property until legal matters are decided. This can happen in civil disputes over business ownership, in instances of fraud or mismanagement of regulated entities such as banks, or when there is a danger that the subject of a court action might be financially wasted by one party in a way that would be unrecoverable if control is not given over to a third party until the dispute can be settled.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.