Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bankruptcy tourism

There's an interesting article in today's FT about the differences in the bankruptcy laws of Ireland and the UK. It takes 12 years to be discharged from bankruptcy in Ireland compared to just one year in the UK. As a consequence, Irish people are relocating to the UK simply to free themselves from debt. The most prominent example is Sean Quinn, three years ago Ireland's richest man with $6bn, who declared bankruptcy in Belfast rather than in Dublin. This will enable him to be discharged in a year and to hold on to his pension. Under Irish law, pensions can be used to pay off creditors. Not surprisingly, Mr Quinn's bankruptcy is being challenged in a Belfast court by Anglo Irish Bank to which he owes E2bn. The FT also ggives the example of a couple who couldn't repay their E300,000 mortgage. They moved to Wales, cdeclared bankruptcy there and are now back in Ireland debt-free. Their verdict? "We don't have the stress of the debts and, even though we can't get a bank account, it is not the end of the world."


Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

How interesting, but why does it take 12 years in Ireland?

7:38 am  

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