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Businessman enters £24m IVA 21 December 2009

John Steven, whose business interests included pubs, restaurants and hotels in Plymouth and across Devon and Cornwall as well as development projects in Portugal, has been hit hard by the recession and seen some of his companies go into administration.

Mr Steven's debts are £24,665,035 and he is understood to have agreed to make a minimum of £75k available to repay creditors, which could be supplemented by a percentage of his earnings over the next three years if those earnings exceed £50,000 per annum.

From this £75k, it is thought fees of £18k owed to insolvency practitioner Richard Neville will be deducted, leaving a minimum of just under £57k to settle claims from creditors.  Though creditors believed to be owed a total of £19m have yet to file a claim, meaning those who have – who are owed more than £5.5m – could receive 1.03p in the pound.

Although Mr Steven's home is thought to be worth £1.5m, it is understood not to be one of the assets available to repay creditors because, after loans secured against it and his wife's share in the house, he has no equity in the property.  Similarly, a parcel of land he owns in Portugal thought to be worth £180,000 is also understood to be excluded because it is subject to a £180,000 mortgage. The land is currently on the market.

Debts are understood to range from from £45, being sought by a collection agency, to £11.5million owed to Malta-based Banif Bank. Mr Steven is also thought to owe £2,000 in council tax to South Hams District Council, 20,000 to HM Revenue and Customs, £50,000 to the Portuguese Inland Revenue, and to have loans from banks including Lloyds TSB, Barclays, Clydesdale, Santander, BNP Portugal, Dunbar, HSBC and NatWest, as well as owing money on credit cards and to individuals.



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