Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (556)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

556. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons who availed of bankruptcy in each of the years since 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34892/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Bankruptcy is a formal High Court insolvency solution for people in debt over €20,000. During the bankruptcy process, the ownership of the person’s property and possessions transfer to the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy to be sold by him for the benefit of those to whom the individual owes debts (i.e., creditors).

 When the person’s property is sold, the Official Assignee makes sure that the proceeds are shared out among creditors and any outstanding debt will be written off.

On 03 December 2013, the Official Assignee officially transferred to the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland publishes quarterly figures in relation to bankruptcy on its website at https://www.isi.gov.ie/en/isi/pages/media_&_statistics.

There have been 2,323 bankruptcy cases adjudicated from January 2014 to December 2018, inclusive; the breakdown by year of that figure is displayed in the table below. The number of Self Petitions (i.e. a debtor seeking their own bankruptcy) in the period was 2,178 or 94% while the number of Creditor Petitions (where a creditor sought to make an individual bankrupt for non-payment of a debt) was 145 or 6%.

To put the numbers in context, the total number of persons adjudicated in the previous 14 years (i.e. 2000 to 2013) was 225 cases - an average of 16 cases per year (and they were predominantly Creditor Petition cases).  The number of bankruptcies in Ireland is now falling from a peak in 2016, notwithstanding the reduction in the bankruptcy terms in 2015 from three years to one year.

Year

Self-Petition total

Creditor Petition total

Total   Cases

Self-Petition %

Creditor Petition %

2014

430

18

448

96%

4%

2014

446

33

479

93%

7%

2016

497

29

526

94%

6%

2017

432

41

473

91%

9%

2018

373

24

397

94%

6%

Overall Total

2,178

145

2,323

94%

6%