IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS NO 1084 OF 2013
D E C I S I O N
1. Now, in this case I have an application by the bankrupt to adjust the amount allowed by the Trustee in Bankruptcy for the livingexpenses of the bankrupt and his family.
2. The bankrupt is working as a fireman earning at present an average monthly income of $24,800. A pay rise has been proposed of between4 and 5 per cent, but this is subject to approval by the Legislative Council. If and when it is approved, the rise will be backdatedto 1 April 2014.
3. I have seen the tables setting out the living expenses claimed by the bankrupt and the figures approved by the trustee, helpfullyprepared by the trustee. $20,000 had been allowed as the bankrupt’s living expenses from March 2013 onwards to August 2013. SinceAugust 2013, the amount allowed has been $21,500.
4. I, of course, respect the experience of the trustees and am in no way critical of their professional skill and judgment. However,I think there is room for an adjustment here, taking into account, particularly, the effect of inflation and, most importantly, thebirth of a daughter to the bankrupt in September 2013.
5. At the moment, there is no income payment order applied for or obtained under section 43E of the Bankruptcy Ordinance because the bankrupt has been cooperative so far and a compulsory order has not been necessary. I should, I think, nevertheless,have regard to the same principles, namely, with reference to what is necessary for meeting the reasonable domestic needs of thebankrupt and his family.
6. I also take into account the fact that bankrupt’s wife has a job and a salary. And one must not lose sight of the fact that thebankrupt has not fully repaid his creditors. He has to accept that his quality of life will, to a significant extent, be affectedby his bankruptcy.
7. On the other hand, bankruptcy is not meant to make life excessively difficult for the bankrupt and especially for his family members.
8. In all the circumstances, taking into account what I have outlined, I consider that the allowance for living expenses should be increasedby $1,600 per month. There will therefore be an order to that effect.
The Bankrupt appeared in person
The Joint and Several Trustees of the property of the Bankrupt, Mr Wong Ka Lam, King and Wong Ka Sek, appeared in person by Mr WongKa Lam King
Official Receiver, absent