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Which Creditors Are Paid First in a Liquidation?


Last Updated on June 28, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

Under the supervision of an IP (insolvency practitioner), the liquidation process in the event of insolvency entails the sale of assets and the distribution of revenues to creditors. The way a company classifies its commitments determines the priority of creditor payments, with secured creditors being paid before unsecured ones. Kanakkupillai provides professional help in managing the challenges of liquidation, making sure that all legal requirements are met, and assisting in a seamless business closure. With Kanakkupillai’s experience, everything from prioritizing creditor payments to managing liquidation charges may be done to maximize results for all parties.

The process of insolvent liquidation consists of the sale of assets and the ensuing transfer of proceeds to the company’s creditors. An insolvency practitioner (IP) licensed by the Insolvency Act of 1986 supervises the process and makes sure that creditors are paid on schedule and in accordance with the authorized order. The categorization of creditors, which is determined by the type of debt the company owes, determines the sequence in which an insolvent corporation pays its creditors. This rating establishes the hierarchy for the allocation of creditor payments.

Secured creditors receive preference in debt repayment over unsecured creditors during a business’s liquidation process. First priority is given to these creditors for assets such as real estate that have been pledged as loan security. Compared to unsecured creditors, particular assets support their legal claim to a higher degree of assurance regarding the recovery of investments. By ensuring that companies have access to credit and protecting lenders’ interests in the event of default or bankruptcy, this prioritization encourages lending.

Understanding Company Liquidation

When a company runs out of money, liquidators sell off its assets to settle debts and give the shareholders any money that’s left over.

As an organization, this process requires the fulfilment of specific requirements. Furthermore, the Adjudicating Authority ought to consent. This is why the Adjudicating Authority (AA) liquidation order in the following instances:

  1. It shall be considered a failure to comply if the resolution plan is not received by the deadline, or if the resolution program is not received by the deadline.
  2. For a range of reasons, the National Court of Adjudicating Authority NCLT may choose to simply reject the resolution proposal.
  3. The Committee of Creditors (CoC) permits the corporate debtor to liquidate.
  4. When the corporation’s debtor is not compliant with the settlement plan.

The adjudicating authority will sanction the record of the liquidation order, including the above-mentioned and other remaining procedural stages. Secondly, the person who will eventually perform the liquidator’s function is a resolution professional for the individual corporate insolvency process. It is important for the reader to note that merely according to the IBC, an Adjudicating Authority, if they think that the resolution professional appointed has not worked suitably, may replace him with distant evidence. In simple words, the liquidator is an appointee who qualifies for the IBC code and performs the role from the date of the legal assignment to the completion of the process of liquidation.

Who Are the Preferential Creditors to Be Paid First in the Event of Insolvency?

A preferential is a creditor who is a person qualified for preferential payment when a company goes through an insolvent liquidation. For a clear understanding of this term, one can refer to the Insolvency Act 1986. The Insolvency Act has a formal hierarchy in which a class determines who gets their money first for the insolvent liquidation. In the case of company liquidation, all creditors of a defined class must be paid in full before the money can be transferred to the next class.

The procedure for a company’s insolvency involves the following steps:

  • Secured creditor
  • The liquidation’s expenses
  • Preferential creditor
  • Creditors of ordinary credit
  • Interest on preferred debts and ordinary debts
  • Members of the company

In the coming sections, we’ll look at each category in more detail and discuss which types of debts belong to the category.

1. Secured Creditor

The most prominent of them are secured creditors, who are entitled to payment of obligations first and have a valid claim over an asset.

For example, the bank has a right to the property assets if a business gets a loan for an industrial warehouse. The liquidator is responsible for making sure the bank receives ownership of the assets in the event that the company is forced into bankruptcy.

2. Liquidation Expenses

A crucial part of the insolvency process is the liquidation costs, which call for qualified liquidators to direct and oversee the actions. These experts use their knowledge and experience to ensure that the liquidation is carried out smoothly, putting in a great deal of time and effort in the process. Before initiating the insolvency procedures, it is essential that the company’s creditors reach a consensus about the costs associated with the liquidation. The goal is to make sure that a competent person is assigned the task of managing the process by giving these costs priority over other debts. In the end, this strategy maximizes the total amount of money that may be disbursed to all of the creditors. Therefore, all parties involved in the process can benefit from the best possible outcome from a well-managed liquidation.

3. Preferential Creditors

Business employees who are owed money for holidays or wages are considered priority debtors. Preferred creditors do not include workers who are entitled to compensation in lieu of notice or redundancy pay. Rather, they are categorized as the company’s unsecured creditors. The government’s Redundancy Payments Fund will, up to a certain amount, pay the remaining balance if the proceeds from the sale of assets are insufficient to satisfy the employee’s claims.

4. Creditors With Ordinary Names

The majority of debts that aren’t secured or preferred debts are categorized as common debts or debts owed to regular creditors. Typically, this includes individuals and organizations, including contractors, suppliers, HMRC, and certain employee claims.

5. Interest

Liquidations sometimes involve struggling companies, thus it’s possible that they have outstanding loans, both regular and preferential, with interest attached. Interest on the loans may be paid by the liquidator if any money remains after paying the secured creditor, liquidation costs, preferential creditors, and liquidation fees.

6. Members and stockholders of the company

The liquidator can start disbursing money to the company’s members after paying all creditors. First-class members of the firm are determined by factors including corporate rights, shareholdings, and specific shareholdings. Additionally, shareholders will be the last group to get paid. Personal guarantee agreements are frequently required of directors. This is usually the case for bank funding and real estate leases for smaller and more recent businesses.

Prior to filing a claim against the business, the creditor must do so. Still, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t pursue more personal guarantees. In terms of priority, the company’s shareholders, usually known as shareholders, come in last.

Diverse classes of shareholders exist. In general, they are individuals who have given money to businesses, though they may also be corporations. This dangerous choice was made by shareholders. This implies that they cannot be paid back until all of the aforementioned creditors have been paid.

The greatest danger to any shareholder’s money is capital loss. To guarantee they get paid in the event the business fails, investors often convert a portion of their ownership into secured debt.

The guarantor, or the person who provided the guarantee, may take the place of the creditor and receive this money return from the business falling under the same category if the creditor is paid back in line with the agreement. The money won’t be given to the creditor twice.


Understanding the challenges posed by conditions and intricacies is crucial when undertaking the liquidation process to terminate a company’s operations. Upon successfully concluding the liquidation proceedings, the business will be legally dissolved.

Through knowledgeable advice and assistance along the liquidation process, Kanakkupillai can help you navigate this intricate process. Our wealth of expertise in dissolving companies allows us to expedite the procedure, guaranteeing adherence to regulations and promoting a seamless closing.


Telecom engineer turned content creator with a knack for crafting compelling narratives. Experienced in client management and community engagement, and ventured into freelance content creation, contributing tailored and impactful content across diverse industries. Currently, collaborating with companies like Kanakkupillai, dedicated to delivering inspiring technical content rooted in a solid foundation.