Irish bankruptcy terms brought into line with Northern Ireland

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Legislation bringing the normal duration of bankruptcy in Ireland in line with Northern Ireland and the UK has been commenced today.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald signed the commencement order for the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act 2015, which introduces the reduced bankruptcy term of one year.

The High Court will be able to extend the bankruptcy term to up to 15 years, but only where it is satisfied that here has been particularly serious non-cooperation or concealment.

The normal duration of a Bankruptcy Payment Order handed down by a court has been reduced from five years to three years.

The legislation provides for transitional arrangements, so that some people already in bankruptcy will also benefit from the reforms, subject at maximum to a six month transitional period.

Ms Fitzgerald said: “I am very pleased to commence the provisions of the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act 2015.

“The Act is a significant reform of our bankruptcy laws and reflects a fundamental shift in attitudes towards indebtedness. Our legislation no longer punishes people who, in most cases, through no fault of their own find themselves with intractable debt.

“However, bankruptcy is still not going to be an easy option. People seeking bankruptcy will have to co-operate in an open manner with the bankruptcy process, and hand over their income and assets towards repayment of their debts.

“The new Act also further modernises our bankruptcy system: it will remove unnecessary costs and delays for debtors and creditors, free up court time and resources, and allow more efficient and effective bankruptcy administration.”

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