Before looking at the aftermath of consequences of bankruptcy in Ireland lets firstly look at the bankruptcy procedure in general terms to get some background.
Bankruptcy proceedings are all dealt with in the High Court, which has obvious cost implications, and if you are declared bankrupt it lasts until and after your death unless you are discharged.
Getting a discharge from bankruptcy is difficult as you must firstly pay off all charges and costs incurred in making you bankrupt in the first place. In fact before a bankrupt can be discharged he/she must discharge the costs of the petitioning creditor, the High Court fees, the costs of the Official Assignee and any preferential debts of the debtor.
A bankrupt is entered on the bankrupt register which is maintained by the Examiner of the High Court-this cannot be inspected online but can be inspected by paying a small fee and calling in person or writing to the Office of the Examiner of the High Court.
After being adjudicated bankrupt the petitioning creditor must advertise this fact in a national and local newspaper. Other advertisements will also be required from time to time such as advertising for creditors to come forward.
Once made bankrupt all property vests in the Official Assignee who then attempts to sell the property.
Consequences of bankruptcy
A bankrupt can operate a bank account and trade in a business under his own name but cannot be a company director; he/she can continue working and/or seek employment.
A bankrupt’s interest in the family home will vest in the Official Assignee when adjudicated bankrupt.
However the Official Assignee can only sell the family home with the approval of the High Court.
Note though that if there is a mortgage or charge on the property only the equity in the property, the unencumbered part, will transfer to the Official Assignee.
A bankruptcy will also cause a joint ownership to split so if the bankrupt owns a family home (or other property) with a partner/wife/husband then the Official Assignee and the non-bankrupt person will hold separate interests in the same property.
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