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Views sought on reducing bankruptcy term to a year


Bankruptcy is a very real option, but it is the nuclear option

Bankruptcy is a very real option, but it is the nuclear option

Bankruptcy is a very real option, but it is the nuclear option

An Oireachtas committee is seeking the views of the public on proposals to lower the bankruptcy period from three years to one year.

The Justice Committee has set a deadline of June 19 for submissions.

The Labour Party has pushed hard for the bankruptcy term to be reduced in a bid to put more pressure on banks to do deals with financially-stricken mortgage holders.

Labour politician Willie Penrose has produced a bill to reduce the bankruptcy period.

It had been expected that the Government would have announced a shorter bankruptcy term last month when it unveiled measures to help indebted people avoid having their homes repossessed.

Instead, the proposal was referred to the Dáil's justice committee which is a cross-party group of TDs and Senators.

The Government has argued that homeowners who are declared bankrupt lose the family home in seven out of 10 cases.

Recent figures from the Department of Justice and the Insolvency Service of Ireland show that almost 200 bankrupts surrendered their family homes since January 2014.

This is a sharp rise in the numbers who surrendered homes in previous years.

Justice committee chairman David Stanton of Fine Gael said people had until 3pm on Friday, June 19, to give their opinion on reducing the period of bankruptcy by following a link on the homepage of www.oireachtas.ie.

Mr Stanton said a broad range of submissions, both in favour and against such a reduction, were expected from the public and interest groups.

The committee may invite individuals and groups to public hearings to discuss particular submissions in detail.

After the closing date for submissions, the committee is expected to publish a report which will be presented to the Minister for Justice and laid before both the Dáil and Seanad.

Irish Independent