Receivership

In law, receivership is a situation in which an institution or enterprise is held by a receiver—a person "placed in the custodial responsibility for the property of others, including tangible and intangible assets and rights"—especially in cases where a company cannot meet its financial obligations and is said to be insolvent.[1] The receivership remedy is an equitable remedy that emerged in the English chancery courts, where receivers were appointed to protect real property.[2] Receiverships are also a remedy of last resort in litigation involving the conduct of executive agencies that fail to comply with constitutional or statutory obligations to populations that rely on those agencies for their basic human rights.

Receiverships can be broadly divided into two types:

Receiverships relating to insolvency are subdivided into two further categories: administrative/equity receivership, where the receiver is appointed wide management powers over all or most of the property of a business, and other receiverships (sometimes misleadingly called fixed charge receiverships) where the receiver has limited control over specific property, with no broader powers beyond managing or selling the individual asset.

Receivers are appointed in different ways:[1]

  • Government regulator appointed
  • Privately appointed
  • Court-appointed[1]

The receiver's powers "flow from the document(s) underlying his appointment"—i.e., a statute, financing agreement, or court order.


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