Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (108)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

108. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Finance the steps the National Asset Management Agency is taking to protect its claim over assets held by borrowers who file for bankruptcy in the UK; the success it has had to date in securing these assets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31911/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Deputy may wish to refer to NAMA’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012, which contain extensive information regarding the Agency's operations, including, as set out in pages 26 and 27 in particular, its insolvency activity and on the locus of debtor bankruptcy. NAMA advises that in each instance of bankruptcy involving a NAMA debtor it reviews its options and selects the most appropriate method of ensuring the best possible return for the taxpayer. The Agency advises that, as a secured creditor, it is generally neutral on the locus of bankruptcy proceedings and its experience has been that the location has not tended to prejudice recoveries. This position is based in part on its positive ongoing engagement with several bankruptcy trustees of debtors who have been adjudged bankrupt in the UK. The Agency also advises that the bankruptcy regime in the UK is well-established, sophisticated and that bankruptcy trustees under the UK system possess extensive powers to compel production of legal and banking information, on a cross-border basis, from the bankrupt. These powers have been used in bankruptcy cases involving NAMA debtors to uncover significant undeclared assets. NAMA further advises that the comparatively shorter duration of bankruptcy in the UK is not a consideration for the Agency as the bankrupt’s assets remain in the control of the bankruptcy trustee long after the bankrupt may have been discharged from bankruptcy and any failure to make full disclosure may result in the period of bankruptcy being extended. NAMA advises that it challenges the release from bankruptcy of any debtor in instances where there is non-cooperation with the bankruptcy trustee. NAMA also advises that, even when a bankruptcy is discharged, the bankruptcy trustee continues to deal with outstanding debt until as all assets have been realised and the debt, in so far as possible, has been repaid.