- Preferential creditor
A preferential creditor (in some jurisdictions called a preferred creditor) is a
creditorwho receives a preferential right to payment upon the debtor's bankruptcyunder applicable insolvency laws.
In most legal systems, some creditors are given priority over ordinary creditors, either for the whole amount of their claims or up to a certain value. In some legal systems, preferential creditors take priority over all other creditors, including creditors holding security, but more commonly the preferential creditors are only given priority over
unsecured creditorsFact|date=June 2007. Some legal systems operate a hybrid approach; in the United Kingdompreferential creditors have priority over secured creditors whose security is in the nature of a floating charge, but creditors with fixed security take ahead of the preferential creditors generally.
Classes of preferred creditors
Creditors who are characteristically preferred creditors are:
* revenue authorities
* in some countries, environmental clean-up costs
* in some countries,
tortvictims [The rationale for tort victims is that they are perceived to be "involuntary" creditors of the bankrupt, and thus should not be penalised by an insolvency in the same manner as parties who voluntarily became creditors of the bankrupt.]
In the United Kingdom employees are preferential creditors for their wages (subject to a statutory limit), as are occupational pension schemes. The right of the Crown as a preferential creditor was removed by the
Enterprise Act 2002
Creditors, and sometimes individual assets, are also placed in classes by specific laws for specific events, such as a
deposit insurancescheme triggered by a bank failure. For example, Switzerland's deposit protection has Class I (first-class), Class II (second-class) and Class III (third-class) unsecured creditors. [ [http://www.einlagensicherung.ch/en/home.htm Einlagensicherung] . "Deposit Protection of Swiss Banks and Securities Dealers". Retrieved 2008-10-09 (English)]
Admiralty law, many legal systems accord certain claims preferential status where a ship is subject to arrest. These claims vary from country to country, but commonly include:
* salvage claims
* seaman's wages
* moorage fees [Cost of mooring is often a preferential claim of expediency. Otherwise it would be difficult to arrange mooring for vessels which are subject to arrest.]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.