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Bankruptcy Declared By British Actress Martine McCutcheon, Says IVA Broker

Martine McCutcheon, one of Britain’s most well-known television celebrities and star of the film Love Actually, has been declared bankrupt, says IVA broker Considered one of Britain’s most successful soap-to-screen stars, Miss McCutcheon appointed KPMG as her trustees and was declared bankrupt at Kingston-Upon-Thames County Court under her real name Martine Kimberley Sherri Ponting.

David Standish, joint trustee and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: “Ms McCutcheon petitioned for her own bankruptcy at Kingston-Upon-Thames County Court. We are now responsible for administering her estate and are in the process of establishing the individual’s assets and liabilities; the largest creditor being Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.”

Miss McCutcheon has been a well-known celebrity since the mid-90s. She played the part of Grant Mitchell’s wife Tiffany in the long-running soap Eastenders, and enjoyed a stint in the charts with her debut single Perfect Moment, which reached number one in five countries. Since then she has appeared in numerous TV shows, including Midsomer Murders and Spooks, played Eliza Doolittle in the stage production of My Fair Lady in 2002, which won her a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, and published a top ten bestselling novel in 2009 called The Mistress.

Despite fame and fortune, some celebrities find it difficult to manage their finances and some believe this is due to leaving their affairs to others without realising they can be held accountable if something is incorrect.

Ed Thomas, partner at accountancy firm Mazars, said: “There is no doubt that they [celebrities] pay a lot of money to people who claim to be managing their affairs professionally. But ultimately it has to be the responsibility of the individual to make sure their financial affairs are up to date, particularly their income tax affairs.”
“Before HMRC takes action, there will be several warnings and opportunities to settle any liabilities. Therefore, any abrogation by the celebrity of their responsibility to deal with income tax and other debt issues, is no real defence.”

Miss McCutcheon joins a growing list of high profile personalities that have declared bankruptcy in recent years, including Atomic Kitten band member Kerry Katona and Westlife star Shane Filan. However other celebrities chose a different personal insolvency route. Neil Morrissey, star of popular 90s comedy Men Behaving Badly, was in debt for millions of pounds after his investment in a property scheme collapsed and he entered an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) to pay his creditors back.

A spokesperson for IVA broker said: “Being a celebrity is no guarantee of avoiding bankruptcy. If anything, it can make keeping up with your financial affairs even more difficult. While trusting someone to take care of your accounts is a necessary part of coping with fame and fortune, blindly ignoring the subject can be very damaging as many have discovered. HMRC will hold the individual responsible, not the accountants, and ultimately it is the individual that pays the price if things go wrong.

Miss McCutcheon will discharged from bankruptcy on January 2, 2014.


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