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走進澳洲 | 自愿接管制度: 接管人、債權人以及可能的后果
時間:2020-03-30

前言




文康君益誠律師聯盟處理過諸多涉及澳大利亞的業務,在此基礎上聯盟成立了澳洲業務團隊,團隊成員包括多位能以英語為熟練工作語言的中國律師以及澳大利亞注冊律師,其中王欲弘律師在中澳法律、投資、貿易、移民等業務領域深耕多年,還運營著以投資業務為主的澳洲基金和澳中投資平臺。團隊國際法律顧問祝福律師擁有澳洲律師牌照近十年,作為在澳大利亞長大的華人,熟悉中澳兩國文化,處理了大量中澳跨境法律事務,經驗豐富。

澳洲業務團隊可為文康君益誠聯盟客戶提供與中國-澳大利亞有關的投資、貿易、移民、跨國婚姻、訴訟等全方位、一站式的商業和法律服務。



自愿接管制度:接管人、債權人以及可能的后果


Voluntary Administration: the Administrator, Creditors and possible outcomes.




本文將為讀者概括地介紹自愿接管程序、債權人的權利和權力以及自愿接管人的職責。


This article will provide the readers with an outline of the voluntary administration process, the rights and powers of Creditors and the responsibilities of the voluntary Administrator.


自愿接管制度

Voluntary Administration


當公司董事認為,公司有可能或已經資不抵債時,他們可以通過聘請一名自愿接管人來啟動自愿接管程序。


When the directors of a company have come to the view that the company is likely or has become insolvent, they are able to initiate the process through the engagement of a voluntary administrator.


這樣做的目的是阻止倒產交易,或者處理與債權人相關的問題。自愿接管程序存在如下影響:


The main reasons for doing so is to either prevent any inferences of insolvent trading, or to resolve issues relating to creditors. The effects of undergoing this process are:


· 無擔保的債權人未經接管人的同意或者法院的許可,不得開始、繼續或強制對公司進行索賠;

· 被接管的公司正在使用或占用的財產的擁有者,不可以向該公司要求追回財產;

· 有擔保的債權人不得對公司財產進行強制執行;

· 不能向法院申請將公司清算;

· 持有公司董事或其他人員個人保證的債權人,不得在未經法院同意的情況下根據個人保證行事。

? unsecured creditors can’t begin, continue or enforce their claims against the company without the administrator’s consent or the court’s permission;

? owners of property used or occupied by the company, can’t recover their property;

? secured creditors can’t enforce their security interest in the company’s assets;

? applications to the court to place the company into liquidation cannot be commenced;

? a creditor holding a personal guarantee from the company’s director or other person can’t act under the personal guarantee without the court’s consent.


接管人的角色和責任

Administrator’s role and responsibilities


自愿接管人將獨立行事并接管公司,以便調查公司的業務、財產、事務和財務狀況,向債權人報告可供其選擇的方案,從而向債權人提供比“公司直接進入清算”更好的方案。


The voluntary administrator will act independently and take control of the company in order to investigate and report to creditors on the company’s business, property, affairs and financial circumstances, and on the options available to creditors, and will seek to deliver to the creditors a better outcome than if the company was placed straight into liquidation.


這一過程要求破產接管人,對每個報告給債權人的方案都提供意見,給出哪一方案是最符合債權人利益的建議,并將公司的利害關系人所犯的罪行報告給澳大利益證券及投資委員會(ASIC)。


The process of doing so requires the administrator to provide to the creditors an opinion on each option which has been put to the creditor and recommend which option is in the best interests of creditors and to report to ASIC on offences committed by people involved with the company.


自愿接管的流程

The process voluntary administration.


這一程序要求舉行兩次有具體議程的單獨的債權人會議。


The process requires that 2 separate meeting of creditors to be held with specified agendas.


除非法院準許延長時間,首次債權人會議必須在委任接管人后的8個工作日內舉行。


The first meeting of creditors must be held within 8 business days of the administrator being appointed, unless the court allows an extension of time.


除非法庭準許延長時間,第二次會議必須在委任后25個工作日內舉行(如委任在圣誕節或復活節前后,則須在30個工作日內舉行)。第二次債權人會議召開前,接管人需要評估公司的情況,并讓債權人決定公司未來的方向。一般來說,接管人會推薦三個選項:


?將公司交還給董事控制;

?接受債務和解契約;或

?讓公司進行清算。


The second meeting must be held within 25 business days of the appointment (or 30 business days if the appointment is around Christmas or Easter), unless the court allows an extension of time. This second meeting is conducted after the administrator has been able to assess the company’s situation and will provide the creditors with an opportunity to decide on the future of the company. Ordinarily, the administrator will recommend 3 options:


? return the company to the control of the directors;

? accept a deed of company arrangement; or

? put the company into liquidation.


首次債權人會議

First creditors’ meeting


在舉行第一次會議之前,接管人必須通過聲明以書面形式通知債權人,以便債權人能夠評估其獨立性,就下列事項作出決定:


1. 是否要組成檢查委員會;如是,則應由誰組成;

2. 債權人是否希望現有的自愿接管人員被撤換,并由他們選擇的自愿接管人員取而代之。


Prior to the first meeting conducted, the administrator must notify creditors in writing, through declarations, information in order for the creditor to be able to assess their independence in order for the creditors to make a decision as to:


i. whether they want to form a committee of inspection, and, if so, who will be on the committee

ii. whether they want the existing voluntary administrator to be removed and replaced by a voluntary administrator of their choice.


檢查委員會

A committee of inspection


委員會成立的目的是為了協助、提供咨詢意見、指導和監測自愿接管程序和接管人的行為。自愿接管人必須聽取委員會的指示,但不一定遵守這些指示。


A committee may be formed to assist, advise, direct and monitors the conduct of the voluntary administration and the administrator. The voluntary administrator must have regard to, but is not always required to comply with, such directions.


第二次債權人會議

Second creditors’ meeting


在第二次會議之前,接管人必須向債權人提供自愿接管人的報告和聲明,因為在這次會議上,債權人有權決定公司的后期方向。


Prior to the second meeting the administrator must have provided the creditors with the voluntary administrator’s report and statement, as at this meeting, creditors are given the opportunity to decide the company’s future.


自愿接管人的報告

Voluntary administrator’s report


接管人必須向債權人提供足夠的信息來說明公司的業務、財產、事務和財務狀況,使債權人能夠對公司的未來做出明智的決策。


The administrator must provide to the creditors information sufficient to explain the company’s business, property, affairs and financial circumstances, to enable the creditor to make an informed decision about the company’s future.


通常情況下,該報告會向債權人提供對公司未來方案的分析,其中包括對可供債權人清算的資產的可比估計。


Ordinarily, the report will also provide the creditors with an analysis of any proposals for the future of the company which will include a comparable estimate of what would be available for creditors in a liquidation.


自愿接管人的聲明

Voluntary administrator’s statement


聲明應包含接管人給債權人的每個建議方案的理由,以及接管人認為的最優方案對債權人利益最有利的原因。


聲明中還必須說明,是否有任何可以在清算時收回的可撤銷交易(金錢或財產)。


可以選擇的方案包括:

1. 結束自愿接管程序,并將公司交還給董事控制;

2. 批準并履行債務和解契約;

3. 讓公司進行清算并指定清算人。

This statement will include the administrator’s reasons for each of the options put to the creditors, and which option is regarded by the administrator to be in the best interests of creditors.


The statement must also advise whether there are any voidable transactions (money or property) which may be recoverable in a liquidation.


These options include:

? to end the voluntary administration and return the company to the directors’ control;

? to approve and enter into a deed of company arrangement;

? to wind up the company and appoint a liquidator.


將公司交還給董事控制

Returning the company to the directors.


這種情況只在極少數情況下發生,董事有責任確保公司清償到期債務。


This occurs only in rare circumstances, and the directors will be responsible to ensure that the company’s debts are repaid as they fall due.


清算

Liquidation


如果債權人決定采取這一方案,除了在第二次債權人會議上決定任命另一名清算人之外,破產接管人將成為清算人。


《2001年公司法(Cth)》規定了在債權人自愿清算程序中,對債權人股利的支付順序。


If the creditors resolve to take this course of action, the administrator will become the liquidator, unless it is resolved that a different liquidator be appointed (at the second meeting).


The liquidation proceeds as a creditors’ voluntary liquidation with any payments of dividends to creditors made in the order set out in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).


總體上來講,資金的分配順序如下:

1. 清算的成本和費用,包括清算人的費用;

2. 拖欠員工的工資和退休金;

3. 拖欠的員工休假補償金(例如,未修完的年休假、病假或長期服務假期津貼);

4. 員工經濟補償金;以及

5. 無擔保的債權人。


Generally, the order in which funds are distributed is:

1. costs and expenses of the liquidation, including liquidators’ fees

2. outstanding employee wages and superannuation

3. outstanding employee’s leave of absence (such as unspent annual leave, sick leave or any long service leave entitlements)

4. employee retrenchment pay, and

5. unsecured creditors.

債務和解契約

Deed of company arrangement


如債權人決定該公司訂立債務和解契約,除法院另有裁定外,公司須于第二次債權人會議后15個工作日內簽署債務和解契約。如果未能簽署,那么公司將進入清算階段。


If the creditors resolve that the company enters into a deed of company arrangement, the company is required to sign the deed within 15 business days of the second creditor’s meeting (subject to court ordering otherwise). If this does not occur, then the company will go into liquidation.


以下幾點需要注意:

1. 不論無擔保債權人支持還是反對,該協議將對所有無擔保債權人有約束。

2. 如果財產所有者、出租人和有擔保的債權人投了贊成票,契約將會對他們有約束 (有管轄權的法院出具相反的裁定除外)。

3. 如公司董事或其他的任何人做出過保證,則該協議不會阻止債權人要求前述的個人就其保證承擔責任。

We wish to note the following important aspects:

? It will bind all unsecured creditors, even if they voted for or against this proposal.

? It will bind owners of property, lessors to the company and secured creditors, but only if they voted in favour of the deed (this is also subject to a competent court ordering otherwise).

? It will not prevent a creditor from taking action against a director of the company or another person under a personal guarantee.


契約可以規定違約責任,并將由接管人監督,以確保公司按照契約行事。債權人在此過程中也可以發揮作用。


后期可更改契約。


債務和解契約中的條款將規定債權人債權的支付順序,并可能與《2001年公司法》中規定的(清算時的)優先權順序相同。


在支付任何股利之前,債權人需要向契據接管人提供清算時的“債務證明”。通常他/她需要填寫一份表格和相關證據列表。


The deed can specify the consequences of any failures to meet the requirements of the deed and will be monitored by the deed administrator to ensure the company’s compliance, with creditors also being able to play a role in this process.


The deed can also be varied at a later stage.


The terms deed of company arrangement will specify the order in which creditor claims will be paid and may be with the same priority as specified in the Corporations Act 2001 (as in liquidation).


Before any dividend is paid to the creditor, he/she will need to provide the deed administrator with a ‘proof of debt’ in a liquidation. This will ordinarily entail the completion of a form and annexure of relevant evidence.


誰是債權人

Who is a creditor


在接管或清算時誰是公司的債權人,是一個值得思考的問題。主要有如下兩類:


1. 有擔保的債權人,即持有公司部分或全部資產的擔保權(如抵押貸款)以擔保公司所欠債務的人(法定或自然人)。動產擔保登記處(PPSR)登記了土地以外的動產的擔保情況。

2. 無擔保的債權人,即對公司資產不持有擔保權的債權人。


The question begs to be answered is then who are considered to be creditors to the company in an administration or liquidation. There are generally two categories:


? A secured creditor, a person (legal or natural) who holds a security interest, such as a mortgage, in some or all of the company’s assets, to secure a debt owed by the company. The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) registers security over personal property other than land.

? An unsecured creditor, a creditor who does not hold a security interest in the company’s assets.


顯然,審慎起見,在進行任何投資或貸款之前咨詢合理的法律建議,以妥善保障土地或動產利益。此外,為了確保你的權利得到保護和執行,我們建議你咨詢對接管程序的法律意見。


As apparent, it is prudent for sound legal advice to be obtained prior to any investment or loans are made. This is done to properly secure your interests in either land or personal properties. It is also recommended that legal advice be obtained for the administration process in order to ensure that your rights are preserved and enforced.



延伸

閱讀

在澳投資
澳大利亞的重點產業
外國投資審查委員會的作用
投資澳大利亞農業
對澳投資的稅務問題
澳洲家事法院眼中的家庭全權信托
董事欺詐:法律后果與司法救濟
信托:恰當的運用和切實的考慮


澳大利亞法律框架下的合同落空原則及不可抗力條款



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