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Can I go Bankrupt in Ireland?

What is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy in Ireland is a process whereby the ownership of an insolvent person’s property transfers to the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy (OAB) to be sold for the benefit of that person’s creditors.

Bankruptcy proceedings are brought in the High Court. The application for a Bankruptcy Order is filed in the Office of the Examiner of the High Court.  When the person’s property is sold, the OAB will make sure that the proceeds are shared out fairly among their creditors and any outstanding debts will be written off. Bankruptcy normally lasts for three years.

What are the main consequences of Bankruptcy in Ireland?

Debt Settlement Arrangement

The bankrupt’s property transfers to the OAB. The bankrupt has a duty to contribute from surplus income i.e. net income after taxes, PRSI, USC and reasonable living expenses are deducted, towards their debts for up to five years.

That period of five years may commence at the date of the bankruptcy order or at any time over the following three years. The bankrupt is normally discharged from bankruptcy after three years when all their debts are written off.


Am I eligible for Bankruptcy in Ireland

  • You must be insolvent i.e. unable to pay your debts to creditors as and when due.
  • You must lodge €650 with the Bankruptcy Division of the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI).
  • You must swear an affidavit stating that you have made reasonable to make use of the alternative arrangements to bankruptcy such as a Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) to the extent that your financial circumstances permit.
  • You must present a Statement of Affairs which will set out your financial situation and must disclose that your debts exceed your assets by more than €20,000.
  • You must prepare a petition for bankruptcy in which you must:
    • undertake to attend in person at the statutory sitting in court;
    • undertake to advertise notice of your bankruptcy adjudication and statutory sitting;
    • make various statements regarding your Centre of Main Interest or COMI, your domicile and related matters

Article written by: Paddy Byrne

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