Falling into financial trouble doesn’t always leave a debtor in the position to arrange debt repayments themselves. In certain situations, one or more of the people or organizations that are owed money can apply to have a debtor made bankrupt, even if the debtor doesn’t want them to.
Having this happen to you can leave you feeling helpless and out of control. However, you do have options, and there are ways to delay or even defend completely against unwanted bankruptcy.
Use the links below to find out more about the bankruptcy petition process and what you can do to prevent it.
- How Can a Creditor Make you Bankrupt?
- Why Might a Creditor Make You Bankrupt?
- Requirements for Bankruptcy Petitions
- What Can I do if my Creditors Petition for me to Become Bankrupt?
- Delaying Bankruptcy Charges Made Against You
- Defending Bankruptcy Charges Made Against You
- How Gibson & Associates Can Help
How Can a Creditor Make you Bankrupt?
Creditors can request that the High Court make a debtor bankrupt in the form of a document called a petition, a sworn document that sets out the nature of the debtor’s debts.
The creditors then promise to attend the court hearing, advertise the court sitting and pay any fees or expenses of the Official Assignee.
When the petition is filed, the petitioning creditor advertises notice of the debtor’s bankruptcy in the Iris Oifigiúil and a national daily newspaper or the ISI website.
The petitioner must lodge €200 towards the costs and outlays of the bankruptcy with the Bankruptcy Division of the ISI and take responsibility of any further costs and outlays which may be incurred.
Why Would a Creditor Petition to Make You Bankrupt?
Creditors may petition for bankruptcy against a debtor when it’s understood that the debtor has committed an act of bankruptcy within the previous three months.
Examples of these “acts of bankruptcy” can include:
- Failure to comply with a bankruptcy summons requesting payment of a specific sum due, within fourteen days of summoning
- Making of a return of no goods in respect of the debtor by the sheriff or county registrar when he has been unable to find any goods to seize
- Where a debtor has been subject to a Debt Settlement Arrangement which has been terminated or which is deemed to have failed
- Where the debtor has been subject to a Personal Insolvency Arrangement, which has been terminated, or which has failed
The above may also link with other motivations that can lead to creditors wanting to petition for a debtor to become bankrupt. These may include:
- They know you have land or property which could be sold to pay back your debts
- They believe you’ve been fraudulent or broken promises to try to stop you from getting more credit in the future
- They believe you’re being dishonest or hiding things of value
- They want your financial affairs to be investigated
- They’re part of a group of employees who want to recover wages they’re owed
Requirements for Bankruptcy Petitions
However, before a creditor can petition for your bankruptcy, there are conditions that they need to meet. For example:
- The debt owed by the debtor must be at least €20,000
- The petition must be presented within three months of the “act of bankruptcy” determined
- The amount of debt owed must be set out in an affidavit (this is a written, signed and sworn statement which allows a person to formally affirm something to be true before a person that is authorised to witness them such as a practicing solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths or an officer of the Court)
Furthermore, the debtor whom the creditor wishes to make bankrupt:
- Must be an Irish resident or have been living in Ireland for three years prior to the presentation of the petition
- Must have ordinarily resided, had a dwelling house or place of business, or carried on business within the State.
Lastly, the creditor’s petition must state whether they hold any security (for example, a mortgage or a charge) in respect of the debt. If so, they must indicate whether they intend to give up the security for the benefit of other creditors or put a value on their security.
What Can I do if my Creditors Petition for me to Become Bankrupt?
Going through a petition for bankruptcy can, understandingly, be alarming and stressful, and can leave debtors feeling out of control and helpless. But, being petitioned doesn’t leave you without any options, and there are things you can do to ensure a better outcome for you.
Contracting an experienced solicitor can help you defend the bankruptcy petition completely, or even delay the proceedings until a more suitable time, giving you time to organize your debt in a way that gives you more control of your repayments.
Why Choose a Solicitor to Delay/Defend you?
While instructing a solicitor is not necessary, it’s considered advisable to get professional legal advice in advance of defending or delaying any bankruptcy proceedings.
Experienced bankruptcy and insolvency solicitors understand the intricate details of the ever-evolving bankruptcy laws in Ireland, and they can also help devise a strategy and a long-term plan that can help bring you out of debt on your own terms.
Delaying Bankruptcy Charges Made Against You
Even if bankruptcy is the best course of action for you, it can sometimes benefit to have the proceedings delayed. This can give you enough time to organize your affairs in a way that will better suit you in the long run. Solicitors can carry out well thought out negotiations to prevent bankruptcy from impacting you sooner than you’d like.
Defending Bankruptcy Charges Made Against You
If bankruptcy is not something you are prepared to undergo, an experienced solicitor can work with you to defend against your creditor’s bankruptcy petitions, and can help you to explore other options that work better for your needs.
Why Choose Gibson & Associates
Our clients are people from all sorts of backgrounds dealing with all sorts of circumstances, and our highly experienced team understands how to help them make the most out of a stressful and deeply personal situation. Read our bankruptcy case studies for more information on how we’ve helped people in the past.
We understand that no one is immune to financial hardship and that with careful and strategic planning, no one has to be ruined by it either.
Our team of Bankruptcy and Insolvency solicitors can work with you to get a great plan in place, working towards a solution that you can be genuinely happy with. Contact us on 1890 989 289 or email us to start working towards a brighter future today.