You've Got Mail ... And You're Bankrupt

A High Court judge has allowed financial services provider Asteron Life Ltd to serve a bankruptcy notice on a man in South Africa by email, provided it receives a “read reply,” The National Business Review reported. Asteron, formerly Royal and SunAlliance, had already received judgement against Pieter Anton Franck. Court permission is required to serve bankruptcy papers on a debtor overseas. As Asteron had been frustrated in obtaining an address for service, it asked for permission to serve the overseas notice by email. Justice Denis Clifford heard in the High Court at Masterton that after a number of unsuccessful attempts to serve papers on Mr Franck, Asteron obtained an order for substituted service by pinning the documents to the door of the Francks’ address in the town. That resulted in a telephone call from Mr Franck’s wife, who said her husband was in South Africa. She provided his email address, but said she did not know his telephone number or address. The firm’s solicitor contacted Mr Franck by email, warning him of likely bankruptcy proceedings. Mr Franck responded but did not provide an address for service, as requested. The solicitor told the judge that service at a physical address would be difficult, if not impossible. Read more.