Your debts are massive.
You will never pay them off.
You’ve had enough.
You have looked at all the options-the new insolvency legislation and debt settlement arrangements.
You’ve decided bankruptcy is for you. It’s your only realistic option.
But how do you actually go bankrupt?
What forms do you fill out?
Where do you send them?
How much will bankruptcy cost?
How to go bankrupt-step by step
Firstly, you need to transfer €650 to the Official Assignee in the Bankruptcy Division of the Insolvency of Ireland.
All bankruptcy applications are then commenced in the Examiners Office in the High Court. This office is located on the 2nd floor of Phoenix House, Phoenix Street North, Smithfield, Dublin 7.
You must then fill out certain forms:
1. A Petition for Bankruptcy (form number 13, appendix O, Rules of the Superior Courts) and a Grounding Affidavit
2. Form number 23-a Statement of Affairs
3. Form no. 15-an Order of Adjudication
4. A Warrant of Seizure (form 46) and
5. A Notice of Adjudication and Statutory Sitting (form number 19).
Once you have filled out these forms you need to send them along with 3 copies of each and the receipt for the €650 (which you have paid to the Insolvency Service of Ireland) to the Examiner’s Office.
The information you put in these documents-the Petition and Statement of Affairs- must be sworn to. That is the purpose of the Grounding Affidavit. (An Affidavit is a written, signed, and sworn statement which formally affirms the contents of the statement are true).
If the Examiner’s Office is satisfied that the forms have been filled out correctly then you will be given a Court date.
There is stamp duty required though on some of the documents: €190 on your Petition and €20 on the grounding affidavit.
The Statement of Affairs is a detailed statement of your assets, liabilities, income, etc.
When you’re in Court
When you go to Court the Judge may have some questions for you about your Statement of Affairs or your application for bankruptcy. So you might want to bring supporting documentation, where appropriate.
When in Court you should
• Request that the Notice of Adjudication and Statutory Sitting be published on the ISI (Insolvency Service of Ireland) website rather than having it published in a national newspaper. It’s a lot cheaper
• Request the Court to fix a date for the Statutory Sitting for your case
• Request that the requirement to file a Statement of Affairs under section 19(c) of the Bankruptcy Act, 1988 be dispensed with as you will have filed a Statement of Affairs (form 23 above).
At the Statutory Sitting, the 2nd date you will have to attend the High Court, yon will be adjudicated bankrupt provided you satisfy all the requirements and your papers are in order.
The Statutory Sitting also gives your creditors the opportunity to make a claim.
The Judge will then sign the Order of Adjudication.
The Warrant of Seizure then gives the power to the Bankruptcy Inspector to seize your property. This can be useful if some of your property is in the possession of someone who will not hand it over.
Once you are made bankrupt you must co-operate with the Official Assignee and will attend his office for an interview. You will also have to deliver to him the title deeds to your property (if you have any) and any relevant documents or accounts.
Once you co-operate with the Official Assignee you will be discharged from bankruptcy after 3 years and all your debts will have been written off.
There used to be a stigma attaching to bankruptcy in Ireland. Now more and more people are realising that it may be the best option for them and that there is no shame in going bankrupt-some of the most successful people in history went bankrupt.
At least once.
Some many times eg Donald Trump four times-1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. Peter Stringfellow, Larry King. Oscar Wilde, Shane Filan. George Best.Marvin Gaye. Walt Disney.