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Debts of £0.5m owed by failed Hunters franchisee including unpaid bills to staff

Hunters’ Norfolk franchisee Kudos Residential, which ceased trading last month, went out of business owing more than £500,000, it has been revealed.

But it looks as though only £2,400 will be available to creditors, including the firm’s own staff and local suppliers.

A total of 21 employees of the business were left out of pocket to the tune of £17,000, while trade suppliers were owed nearly £63,600.

A statement of affairs from liquidators shows that a total of 21 employees were owed money.

Of the £17,000 owed to staff, just under £4,000 was arrears of wages and holiday pay, which will be treated preferentially.

The remaining £13,260, which is made up of redundancy pay and payment in lieu of notice, will not be treated preferentially.

The firm also owed £200,000 to HMRC and £220,000 in directors’ loans.

However, the firm’s liquidators Price Bailey estimate that only £2,400 worth of assets will be available for the creditors, from the sale of equipment.

That leaves an estimated total deficiency of £548,444.

Among the company’s individual creditors, a Norwich-based printing company, Eco Digital Print, was owed £31,771.

NatWest Bank is due £25,000 and Countrywide Signs in Norwich is £11,764 out of pocket.

Stuart Morton, an insolvency practitioner with accountancy firm Price Bailey, which is overseeing the liquidation of Kudos Residential, said: “We have already realised amounts far in excess of the figures shown in the statement of affairs and we have advised creditors that it may be possible to pay a small dividend to preferential unsecured creditors (claims for arrears of wages and unpaid holiday pay) in due course.

“Each employee, irrespective of whether a preferential dividend is paid in due course, has been invited to submit a claim for any redundancy pay, wages, holiday pay and pay in lieu of notice.

“The amounts they are owed will be paid by the Redundancy Payments Service, subject to statutory limits.

“We will continue to assist the former employees, at this difficult time, to ensure that their claims are processed as quickly as possible so that they can receive payment quickly.”

Kudos Residential’s demise resulted in the loss of 21 jobs last month, when eight of its nine branches closed.

The Hellesdon branch is currently being run by William H Brown staff to help landlords and tenants move their contracts over.

Yesterday, Hunters declined to.

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Source:: Debts of £0.5m owed by failed Hunters franchisee including unpaid bills to staff