Bookable administrator updates creditors on claims

Failed online agent Bookable Holidays has been put into liquidation, with unsecured creditors owed a total of £1.12 million set to be left out of pocket.

The latest report on the collapse by KRE Corporate Recovery dated February 20, reveals unsecured creditors’ claims have risen from £658,399 to £1.12 million since it went in administration in October. They can expect to receive a dividend, but not the full sum owed.

The update also reveals the administrator tried but failed to sell a villa in Florida for £12,500 which was owned by Bookable but registered under the name of one unnamed director.

It also states that director and founder Jason Dwyer had an outstanding £57,000 loan that he said he could not repay, although has offered to pay some of the outstanding loan over three years.

Discussions are underway with the firm’s two largest creditors about this proposal.

Bookable failed with 1,000 customers still to travel, blaming a tough trading environment and the impact of UK regulations.

On November 13 the administrator sold the intellectual property rights, brand and leasehold on its Aldermaston premises to TravelUp for £390,000.

In a report to creditors, the administrator said since the failure claims from suppliers for non-fulfilment of bookings have increased.

Although the administrator attempted to contact all Bookable customers it said those who had paid in full might travel to find their accommodation was not paid for.

Atol and credit card claims totalling £650,000 are expected to rise further as refunds are made to customers. KRE says it is yet to receive 1,059 claims from creditors, mostly customers.

The report states: “It appears likely a dividend will be declared to the non-preferential unsecured creditors and accordingly the company has been placed into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation to facilitate the distribution.

“Whilst we envisage a dividend will be available to the unsecured creditors’ we are unable to advise of the quantum of any such return as there are still potentially 1,059 creditors claims outstanding.”

The Bookable failure prompted an initial flood of calls from customers dealt with by six staff who were retained for three weeks after the collapse.

Since the helpline was closed calls to the administrator have increased and customers have been advised to consult the Bookable website and the Atol and Abta sites for advice.

Anger was heightened because TravelUp bought the Bookable website but not the liability for its customers’ bookings prompting the wrong assumption the firm had been revived, the report states.

It also said former employees of Bookable have struggled with redundancy payments because they were paid a basic salary with commission being their main earner.

The Redundancy Payments Service initially rejected the commission element of their claims and KRE has been assisting them, as well as staff laid off in September 2014 who also have legitimate claims.

KRE said preferential creditors’ claims will be paid in full and will exceed the £20,000 originally estimated at the time of the administration due to the RPS recalculation.

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