DRAMATIC INCREASE IN DONEGAL BANKRUPTCY CASES
The rate of bankruptcy cases in Donegal has increased dramatically since the change to the Irish bankruptcy regime in January, a local insolvency practice has said.
Ryan Stewart, from Stewart Brown personal insolvency practitioners, a sister company of Even Keel Financial, has taken on seven new bankruptcy cases in just three weeks.
Official figures from the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) show that there have been just 18 bankruptcies in the county in the last two years.
Mr Stewart said: “In just three weeks we’ve taken on seven new bankruptcy cases. The number of people coming forward who are prepared to deal with unsustainable debt through bankruptcy and insolvency arrangements is unprecedented.
“Statistics released by the ISI have shown that in the last two years there were only 18 bankruptcies in Donegal. The fact that we’re now dealing with seven cases in just a few weeks is a very telling indication of what’s to come. I would imagine that other personal insolvency practitioners operating in the county may well be experiencing a similar increase in the number of cases.”
Mr Stewart says the surge is a direct result of the reduction in the normal period for bankruptcy from three years to one in January.
“The rise can be attributed to the change in the bankruptcy regime earlier this year. The law now allows people to benefit from a fresh, debt-free start after just 12 months rather than the previous term of three years.
“In recent years we’ve had a lot of people contact us to dip their toes in the water regarding bankruptcy but who stopped short of entering the process. Some of these people are now returning because they are much more comfortable with the prospect of exiting bankruptcy after just one year.
“The high profile of the regime change has also played a part in terms of reducing the traditional stigma surrounding bankruptcy in Ireland. As a result, more and more people are seeing bankruptcy as a realistic option which will allow them to get on with their lives after years of torment induced by financial crisis.”