THE first protective certificate in a High Court personal insolvency case was issued yesterday for a woman with debts of around €2.5m which she was unable to repay.
Although such certificates protecting a debtor from bankruptcy proceedings have already been issued at Circuit Court level, this was the first to be dealt with in the High Court.
Ms Justice Marie Baker said yesterday she was satisfied to issue the certificate in the case of Mairead Edwards, Kilnagleary, Carrigaline, Co Cork, having considered the application from the new Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) over the debt.
A protective certificate remains in force for 70 days during which time a debtor has the opportunity to negotiate and and make arrangements with creditors on how the debt will be treated.
The judge said Ms Edwards debts as of December 18 last amounted to €2,548,720 over which there is at least one secured creditor holding security over an interest in property she owns.
In particular, the judge said, the court noted Bank of Ireland has the benefit of a security interest and charge registered over lands she owns in Fermoy, Co Cork.
The ISI made the protective certificate application after a personal insolvency practitioner (PIP), on behalf of Ms Edwards, issued notice last October of her intention to make a personal insolvency arrangement.
The judge was satisfied the aggregate of secured debts in this case was less than €3m, as required under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.
She was also satisfied Ms Edwards was not a discharged or undischarged bankrupt nor had her debts been discharged under a debt relief notice or debt settlement arrangement.
She was also satisfied that Ms Edwards lives in rented accommodation and there was no issue over security for the debts over her principal private residence.
The court also gave liberty to apply for an extension of 70 day protective period if required.