Monday 22 October 2018

Irish bankruptcies surge in first half of the year

Musgrave's says independent retailers are being encouraged to refinance away from banks
Musgrave's says independent retailers are being encouraged to refinance away from banks
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Almost three times more people were made bankrupt here in the first half of the year than in the whole of 2013, data shows.

Experts attributed the increases to the changes in the bankruptcy regime.

There were 164 cases of bankruptcy between January and July, up from 58 during the whole of last year. The change of law here means that the period of automatic discharge has been reduced to three years from 12 with all debts written off, as well as the establishment of the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

Michael O'Maoileoin of London-based Hugh James solicitors said there are fewer so-called bankruptcy tourists coming to the UK.

"In particular people with modest assets are remaining in Ireland as they no longer consider it to be worthwhile coming to the UK as the gap between the two countries' bankruptcy laws have narrowed," he said.

"However, we're still seeing a lot of previously wealthy and high profile business people coming to the UK, so that they can take advantage of the more lenient bankruptcy regime in England & Wales."

The Irish Independent reported in October that there had been a surge in informal insolvency deals among Ireland's professional classes following the introduction of new personal insolvency laws and the sale of non-performing loan books to so-called vulture funds.

And professionals including judges, lawyers, stockbrokers, accountants and doctors are being ordered to sell assets and trade down their trophy homes.

Hugh James said some UK licensed insolvency practitioners are now cross-qualifying as Irish practitioners and access clients here.

Irish Independent

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