Tinkler faces motion to dismiss Florida bankruptcy proceedings
KENNETH Tinkler, a Kildare businessman who racked up €8m in debts with a string of banks here, has been subject to a motion in the United States to have his bankruptcy proceedings there dismissed.
Mr Tinkler (46), who is originally from Castlewarden near Straffan in Co Kildare, filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida last year. He operated some property-related firms in the state.
A schedule of debtors filed in the courts there last year showed he owed €2.5m to Bank of Scotland (Ireland), which was secured against a palatial home at Castlewarden called Hollon House.
Permanent TSB was owed €1.6m, while Ulster Bank was listed as having been owed nearly €1.8m.
Mr Tinkler, a helicopter enthusiast who has been living in the US with his wife Susan, also owed more than €2,300 on a Brown Thomas Mastercard, as well as €40,000 to Naas Credit Union. Other debtors included Bank of Ireland, which was owed more than €64,000; Friends First Finance, which was owed €568,000; and First Active, which was owed €46,000. KBC Homeloans was owed almost €139,000, which was unsecured.
Mr Tinkler initially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the US in May last year. That was converted in July to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which generally enables a person to retain control of their assets and properties as long as they agree to and adhere to a repayment scheme drafted by the bankruptcy trustee. It doesn't eliminate most debts, however.
A repayment scheme drafted in August by the then trustee indicated that Mr Tinkler was due to repay $2,300 per month between then and mid-2014. The bulk of those funds were due to be distributed to a US bank owed about $500,000 (€387,000).
Mr Tinkler was also to surrender properties in Ireland, including Hollon House and two homes in Co Carlow, as part of the deal. He was also due to surrender a US property.
But the bankruptcy reverted to a Chapter 7 proceeding in November due to the extent of the debts. That means all assets should be handed over to the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, who then liquidates them and distributes the proceeds to creditors.
George Mills, the Florida-based trustee, told the Irish Independent that he was seeking to have Mr Tinkler's proceedings dismissed. His motion was filed last Wednesday.
If it's approved by the court, creditors can then pursue individual claims against the businessman. Mr Mills said Mr Tinkler had failed to appear at recent court appearances, having cited visa difficulties for his inability to attend.
Mr Tinkler's lawyer in Florida did not return calls seeking comment.