Monday 24 November 2014

Around 2,000 jailed over debts

Published 08/07/2013 | 13:01

Nearly 2,000 people were sent to prison last year for failing to pay debts
Nearly 2,000 people were sent to prison last year for failing to pay debts

Almost 2,000 people were sentenced to jail last year for not paying their debts, it has been revealed.

Official figures show an 82% increase in committal orders granted for non-payment of debts, like loans to banks and lenders, despite court hearings and orders.

The Courts Service revealed 60% of all cases before the District Courts were for road convictions and called for fines to be included in road taxes in 2012.

The Chief Justice, Ms Susan Denham, said alternatives need to be considered to the automatic inclusion of those who do not pay fines in the court system.

"The Courts Service has many times offered the Road Safety Authority and the Department of Transport ideas for keeping people out of the courts system, including adding unpaid and uncontested fines to road tax bills," she said.

It is not known how many people ended up serving jail time following the sentencing or if debtors paid up on foot of the committal order.

Elsewhere, figures show there was a 14% rise in numbers or tenants ejected from properties for not paying rent, up to 1,794, but home, business and land repossessions dropped.

There were 270 possession cases lodged in the High Court in 2012 - down 43% on 2011 and 54% in 2010 - with 198 orders made.

Another 58 orders were made as part of a mortgage suit, while the Circuit Court dealt with 258 possession orders, down 27%, including on 229 residential properties.

There were also 35 bankruptcies declared, up from 33, and 97 solicitors act cases taken.

Press Association

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