LUXURY cars like Aston Martins, Land Rovers, and Jaguars are being seized for resale by Dublin's bailiffs -- as their previously wealthy owners have plummeted into crippling debt.
But the high-end cars are being sold for a mere fraction of their original cost as the bailiffs find it difficult to shift them.
Dublin county sheriff John Fitzpatrick told the Herald: "The cars we've been getting are all higher range.
"They're Jaguars, Mercedes, BMWs, but they've dropped enormously in value and they're very hard to sell.
"We sold an Aston Martin last October, just over a year ago.
"When that car was bought new, I understand it was bought for €250,000 but we sold it for €39,000.
"We sold a 2006 BMW diesel 5-series which was automatic and €15,000 was the most we could get for it."
Up to 20 luxury cars have been seized by the county bailiffs in the past three years, and are proving hard to sell.
"It's very hard nowadays to sell a car like an Aston Martin. It [entails] big tax, and it's a big drinker on petrol."
A garage owner purchased the car when it was repossessed by the County Sheriff, but a few months later, he still had not made the sale.
"He had it up on his website for €69,000 and I asked him had he sold it, and he said he hadn't. People don't want them."
"If you take a three-litre Range Rover, the road tax on that alone is €1,400 or €1,500, and if you have a four litre, it's €2,000. People are not going to pay for them."
Mr Fitzpatrick admitted that certain families who experienced great wealth during the Celtic Tiger years are now being forced to hand over their most prized possessions.
"It's dreadful to see the way people are. We're talking about people who ran a business properly and who would pay their debts if they had it, but there isn't any money."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Dublin City sheriff stressed: "We take hardship into account and we really try to help someone who's genuinely in trouble, we gently extract money from them. If there's a reaction of horror and shock we deal with them sympathetically."