20 thoughts on “Bankruptcy tourists cross Irish Sea”

  1. Coincidentally, I received an e-mail on this issue today:

    “…slippery exodus of big property debtors to countries such as Brazil and Switzerland. Apparently, these two routinely refuse to enforce financial judgements obtained in foreign courts against their residents.  What I don’t understand is how and why the Revenue and Foreign Affairs and the Gardai have not been working together to head off this problem. And as for UK filed bankruptcies…incredulity abounds.

    Again and again, a failure of political will leaves the small person picking up the big bills. The few dozen who crippled the country helped by political stooges have largely exited the stage in considerable comfort. No public statement from government condemning this flight of the celtic Geese. But it is all the fault if the French and Germans apparently.

    Call me a cynic but one has ask why the previous government did not implement the Lugano Convention of 2007 which would have resolved Swiss domicile protection.  The current government is inching its way to implementation http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/SP11000254

    Brown envelopes all round please.”

  2. @Michael Hennigan

    “Again and again, a failure of political will leaves the small person picking up the big bills. The few dozen who crippled the country helped by political stooges have largely exited the stage in considerable comfort.”

    Same with the ghost estates. Many have been abandoned as if nobody was ever responsible for them.

  3. Our personal insolvency laws are completely dysfunctional and are an absolute disgrace. FG have failed to act to reform them with any dispatch following on from the Law Reform Commission report (which wasn’t overly impressive itself).

    The biggest reason is the banks don’t want to have to give borrowers, particularly mortgage holders, a fair break or to take responsibility for their bad lending. Instead they want to bkeep the citizens as bonded labourers.

    Bankruptcy is not a crime. We don’t have slavery or serfdom any more.

    I don’t blame anybody who goes abroad to avail of more humane and reasonable system abroad. I don’t like Sean Quinn but why should he not be allowed go bankrupt if he has no money?

    The real reason people are annoyed about bankruptcy tourism is that we have no record of successfully prosecuting white collar crime. Therefore people see bankrupts as wrongdoers. This Victorian attitude is a result of incompetence of administration not wrong doing.

    Our bankruptcy system is a cause of suicides in my view. If anybody I knew was in a situation of genuine bankruptcy with banks refusing to restructure debt then I would advise them to hop on the ferry.

  4. A pity the option of such tourism is unavailable to all our beleaguered homeowners. I suppose it’s because these bankrupt worthies can’t pay, whereas those greedy ordinary homeowners simply won’t pay.

    Nevertheless, I can’t entirely disagree with bankruptys in an of themselves. Default on every level–state, bank, company, and individual via bankruptcy–is the only way that this crisis is getting resolved. I just wish people would face the music while they’re doing so instead of trying to duck out like these spivs.

  5. Zhou,
    Good man. Many of the people in financial trouble are in that sad state because of the dereliction of duty on the party you support – FF. It is now up to the rest of the political spectrum to come up with solutions to the mess caused by you lot.

  6. Re

    “It takes 12 years to be discharged from bankruptcy in Ireland compared to just one year in the UK. It is a no-brainer for people to relocate to the UK for a few months to free themselves of debts,”

    There should be far more people doing this. Pity we don’t have more figures re numbers of Irish people applying for this; or numbers of Irish people who intend or would like to do this?

    Heard Sean Quinn interviewed outside Belfast Court today. He took the blame for bad decisions but claimed he was led up the garden path by Section 23’s, regulators, financial advisors, bad government policy, and the likes of Anglo seeking to stick him with the blame for their failings.

    The banks control this island. That’s why delay on reform of bankruptcy laws. We need to solicit the views of Elderfield and Honahan and just do the opposite! They want to extend out the lie all properties in negative equity and the loans against these can be recovered! The longer they can do this by making bankruptcy difficult, the longer they can hide and not have to write down their real losses.

    Its a game of hide. Such is not the way of capitalism. It is the way of socialism for the banks this society is paying through its nose for.

  7. The UK banking sector hasn’t imploded under the ‘strain’ of its bankruptcy regime.

    However, Ireland, which is taking a taxi back to the bond markets in 2013 according to MoF Noonan, apparently could not cope with a similar system. Surprise, surprise.

    Instead a kind of Victorian rackrent attitude by the banks, supported by the Central Bank, dictates the pace or non-pace of change. Another classic collision between the spin world and reality.

  8. Bring bank debtors’ prisons for property debts (as it’s an “uncreative activity”, unlike say, the invention of a new technology)…the prisons are not as bad as in Dickens’s Dad’s time…it would help the country in the long run

  9. Bring bank debtors’ prisons for property debts (as it’s an “uncreative activity”, unlike say, the invention of a new technology)…the prisons are not as bad as in Dickens’s Dad’s time…it would help the country in the long run

    And do you think any bankrupt developers and/or property speculators will be put in them? More likely they’ll be given the contracts to construct the things to house the hundreds of thousands of home-buyers who couldn’t scrounge up enough money to pay off everyone else’s debt in addition to their own.

  10. Was Dermot Ahern the worst minister for justice of all time? He had years to reform bankruptcy and did nothing. “Fiction!” may be the only thing anyone remembers of his time in office.

  11. If it’s not a daft question, why would one need to cross the Irish Sea or get on a ferry? Surely one would do what Quinn did and simply cross the border into the north?

    I know sod all about bankruptcy but would assume you would need to show some kind of proof of residence there to be able to avail of UK bankruptcy laws? You can’t just turn up and say hi I’m Tiffin from Clongriffin and I’ve got a mortgage there I’d like to dump? And I also guess if you were able to do that, you would never get a loan or mortgage here again regardless of being discharged in a year in the UK?

  12. This rules out anyone with a job unless they are willing to try their luck in England. Certainly for someone who is unemployed declaring bankruptcy in England is an attractive option. Elderfield should take into account that the banks did not display intelligence or a sense of responsibility as they fueled the property boom. I expect that the banks will show more willingness to compromise as the balance of power shifts to the debtor.

    To avail of this one would have to reside in England with the spouse and children and preferably get a job so as to be considered as someone with intent to stay. A few months alone in a hotel would not suffice.

    In some respects Ireland is positively medieval.

  13. This is perfectly sensible from their individual perspective. There is zero reason beyond lethargy and insouciance why we can’t today have a resolved bankruptcy law. Zero…

  14. @ Mickey Hickey

    re “To avail of this one would have to reside in England with the spouse and children and preferably get a job so as to be considered as someone with intent to stay. A few months alone in a hotel would not suffice.”

    Not so, I’ve heard a number of developers interviewed on radio who’ve gone to London, live in a bedsit, leave their families of wife/young kids, can only afford to return for weekend every fortnight, who are trying to start a business again/work in the UK.

    I got impression it takes 3 years to work through a bankruptcy in this way. Dunno the precise regulations governing these rather sad and painful workthroughs.

  15. @Frank Galton

    Dermot Ahern was pretty useless. Apart from his inaction on important issues and his lack of any vision whatsoever, he also enacted legislation that massively eroded citizens’ privacy. If dodgy characters do come to power in Ireland, which is very possible, Dermot Ahern has left them with an arsenal of invasive laws at their disposal. One of the highlights is the law which allows Gardai to get warrants for wire-tapping after the fact, thereby implicitly allowing Gardai to spy in whomever they want with no judicial supervision.

  16. @zhou_enlai

    “One of the highlights is the law which allows Gardai to get warrants for wire-tapping after the fact, thereby implicitly allowing Gardai to spy in whomever they want with no judicial supervision.”

    That would make an interesting test case on privacy breaches in the European Court of Human Rights (I’d suggest this is a bit more serious than Princess Caroline getting them to ban the publication of a few photos that invaded her privacy). I didn’t know that was the current situation. Frightening.

  17. Bankruptcy in Ireland = Spanish Inquisition (Torture , Burning at the stake).

    Bankruptcy US, UK = a reasonable sanction that still allows entrepreneurs to get back up off their faces after going bust.

    As long as the bankrupt is left with just the shirt on his back after the hearing there is no reason to punish further. Entrepreneurs are not as thick on the ground as we think. Failure is a necessary educative experience. Anyone in there right mind would avoid Irish bankruptcy at any cost. The law is an ass here and needs a reset in order to bring us out of the dark ages.

  18. Why cross the sea? Simply go to Newry, Derry or Belfast.

    Furthermore, the so-called ‘Compact’ contravenes the Good Friday Agreement in failing to recognise the ‘special status’ of ‘these islands’. It is ergo illegal in international law …. as well as being dangerously tautological in proposed practice.

    Perfectly sensible to go to Belfast or London …

Comments are closed.