Oireachtas approves bill to bring Irish bankruptcy terms in line with UK

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

Legislation to bring Irish bankruptcy terms in line with Northern Ireland and the UK while freeing up court time and resources has been approved by the Oireachtas.

The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill reduces the normal duration of bankruptcy from three years to one year, and the normal maximum duration of orders requiring payments to creditors from any income of the bankrupt person from five years to three years.

Another provision of the law means a bankrupt person will regain ownership of their home, subject to any mortgage, if steps have not been taken to sell it for the benefit of creditors within three years.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: “The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 2015 represents a significant reform of our bankruptcy laws.

“It will ease the impact of bankruptcy on the large majority of people who never wanted to go bankrupt, and who have handed over their income and assets towards repayment of their debts. For these people, the Bill offers a second chance, and an earlier return to normal economic activity.

“At the same time, the Bill contains very strong provisions to deter and penalise anyone who tries to abuse the bankruptcy process or to cheat their creditors.

“And it introduces some key reforms to bankruptcy procedures which will free up Court time and resources, save unnecessary costs, and allow increased efficiency and effectiveness of bankruptcy investigations.”

She added: “It complements the important reforms made earlier this year by the Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Act, where I introduced a court review for proposals for Personal Insolvency Arrangements rejected by creditors.”

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