Thursday 22 February 2018

Seven out of ten of Nama's 96 bankrupts have been discharged


Gordon Deegan

Over 70pc of the 96 Nama debtors who declared themselves bankrupt have been discharged from their bankruptcy.

That is according to new figures provided by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, who confirmed that the 96 debtors had aggregate debts of €8.4bn.

In a written Dáil response to Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath, Minister Noonan stated that 69 of those 96 bankrupts - 72pc - have been discharged from their bankruptcy with 58 doing so in the UK, 10 in Ireland and one in the US.

Some of those developers to exit bankruptcy in the UK include developers Bernard McNamara, Paddy Shovlin and John Fleming.

The figures show that 12 debtors have been discharged from bankruptcy this year, made up of eight in the UK and four in Ireland.

This compares to 21 discharged in 2014, made up of 14 in the UK, six in Ireland and one in the US.

The figures show that the most popular jurisdiction to declare bankruptcy this year was Ireland, with five compared to two in the UK, along with the first Nama debtor bankruptcy to take place in South Africa.

The numbers of Nama debtors declaring themselves bankrupt reached a peak in 2012 when 32 declared themselves bankrupt, including 29 to do so in the UK.

In his reply to Deputy McGrath, Minister Noonan said: "Nama's security position is not adversely affected by debtor bankruptcy.

"In the case of debtors who have been declared bankrupt, Nama has enforced over the assets that secures its loans and continues to realise these assets in the normal way.

"When a debtor is declared bankrupt, the assets available to the bankruptcy trustee are usually the remaining unencumbered/unsecured assets. The role of the bankruptcy trustee is to realise these assets and to make a distribution to all unsecured creditors including any Nama unsecured balances."

He added: "The bankruptcy trustee continues to deal with all outstanding debt, even where a bankruptcy is discharged, until such time as all assets have been realised and the debt, in so far as possible, has been repaid."

Deputy Michael McGrath said yesterday: "Until the passage of the recent bankruptcy legislation in Ireland the difference in the discharge period in the UK versus Ireland obviously made the UK a much more viable destination for a person contemplating bankruptcy.

"When Nama was initially established the discharge period was 12 years in Ireland as against 12 months in the UK. In that context the figures provided by Minister Noonan are not surprising."

Separately, Minister Noonan confirmed the ongoing bonanza for receivers arising from Nama work with receivers amassing €100m in fees since 2010.

In a written Dáil reply to Deputy McGrath, Mr Noonan said that receivers have got fees of €17.32m to date this year and this follows fees of €23m received last year.

He confirmed that to date this year, Nama has made 23 separate appointments - down on the 73 appointments in 2014 and 101 in 2013.

Irish Independent

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