independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Teachers and nurses take leave to go bust

NURSES and teachers are taking year-long sabbaticals to go bankrupt in the UK, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS TAKING SABBATICALS

TO AVAIL OF LENIENT UK BANKRUPTCY LAWS

Lawyers here and in the UK have revealed there is a growing trend of public sector workers taking time out from their jobs to avail of the UK's more lenient bankruptcy regime.

Public servants have emerged as one of the biggest group of debtors inquiring about going bankrupt since Ireland's new insolvency regime came into effect last year, according to the Irish Mortgage Holders Association.

Full Story, page 12

Steve Thatcher, a Leicester-based insolvency lawyer, said the surge of high-profile Irish businessmen who moved to Britain to go bankrupt has been replaced by middle- income earners such as nurses and teachers.

"I have had civil servants who have been able to get extended time [to] come across and do what is necessary to be declared bankrupt," Mr Thatcher told the Sunday Independent.

"They spend four or five months setting up what is described as their centre of main interest in the UK. They then spend a subsequent six or seven months dealing with the official receiver . . . then they could go back at their job in Ireland while the bankruptcy process is being completed."

Anthony Joyce, an Irish lawyer specialising in personal insolvency, confirmed the trend of Irish people taking sabbaticals to go to the UK.

The phenomenon reflects the growing numbers of middle-class families on ordinary salaries, heavily in debt following the property crash and now looking for a way out of their financial difficulties. However, teaching unions claimed they were not aware of members using leave of absence entitlements to avail of UK bankruptcy laws.

Irish Independent

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