The Ryan Review
Only in Ireland could insolvency be too expensive for the insolvent. With the enacting of the new bankruptcy legislation, reducing the discharge period from 12 to three years, and despite the warnings that this lonely and restrictive path is best avoided, it seems up to 5,000 people are deciding, after failing to resolve issues with an intractable bank, that becoming a bankrupt is the viable, or only, solution.
For those without an income, it's almost impossible to get a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) to deal with you under the Insolvency legislation and in any event, you can't afford them. Bankruptcy, on the other hand has seen its fees halve to €750, but you'll have to pay court costs.
For those considering it, it will cost from €2,000-€6,000 to process a bankruptcy action, but some of the free legal aid bodies will do this pro bono. You can do it yourself but there's a serious amount of paperwork and it's not advised.
All your assets will transfer to the official assignee and you will have to ask permission to access credit, or leave the jurisdiction. You may have to pay a portion of income towards your debts for up to five years, so it's not always the 'clean break' anticipated.
A debtor must owe at least €20,000 before he or she can be forced into bankruptcy by a creditor or make a petition to declare themselves bankrupt.
For more information, see www.isi.gov.ie