More often than not where a Lender is offering loan facilities to a Company, they will, by way of security, require a Personal Guarantee to be offered by the Director(s) of same Company. This will essentially provide the Lender with the reassurance that, even in the event of the Company becoming insolvent, they can pursue the Directors directly and personally in relation to monies owing. It provides them with an extra layer of cover so to speak…
Directors (especially in the past) will have seen this as a risk worth taking, particularly as it could massively influence the Lender’s decision as to whether to approve/deny a loan application submitted on behalf of the Company. This is all very well when the Company is performing however where a Company begins to experience financial issues/is showing signs of being in a position of financial distress, Personal Guarantees can have serious and hard hitting consequences for the obligated Director(s).
In some instances, Personal Guarantees will be capped at a specific amount and the amount will have been influenced by the overall, net worth of the Director(s) at that time. In other instances however, Guarantees will be somewhat open ended and will be as wide as to cover all debts owing by the Company to the subject lender. Negotiating in relation to a Personal Guarantee is most definitely possible, when broached in the correct way and with the right presentation, however is not straightforward.
The subject lender will analyse the position in an in-depth manner and conduct a high level of due diligence, often engaging specialist professionals, in order to determine what can be recovered thus it is imperative that positioning and approach is concise and watertight. Creditors will look at various aspects of the Director(s) position, not least, to include asset/monetary position and a number of documents, reports and evidence will be required to be submitted in order to support any submissions made. There are central in the context of negotiations.
Once again, the importance of obtaining the correct advices with regards how to communicate/approach must be stressed here as this can very often mean the difference between losing and retaining livelihood/home etc. The importance of being pro-active cannot be emphasised enough as failure to do so will often result in Judgment/Statutory Demand, both of which can be avoided when the correct steps are taken.
To conclude, we would state as follows:
Whilst Personal Guarantees do not very often impact/feature in the thought process of Directors at the time of loan application and where the Company is performing, other than to be considered the determining factor re sanctioning/rejection, they can have serious, personal consequences where the Company becomes insolvent and the debt is called in. The Lender is entitled to explore all surrounding property, the equity therein and the financial well-being of the individual and can pursue up to and including Bankruptcy in which event there is often a lot at risk.
This can be avoided in its entirety if the correct line of communications are adopted from the outset and with the right advice, guidance and representation. There are significant savings to be achieved if handled in the correct way – We have achieved savings at 0.6% of overall debt owing however each case will be circumstance dependent. Why take the risk caused by delay…?
Act now and protect what is important.