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News and legal publications by the team at Lanigan and Clarke Solicitors in Letterkenny and Dublin. If you would like to find out more about any specific legal area, get in touch today via our contact page

Leading solicitors in Ireland

16 March 2015

Top 5 Questions asked in Bankruptcy Cases

Posted in Legislation Updates

These are the top 5 questions asked by clients when considering Bankruptcy:

Myth 1: “Bankruptcy can’t save your home from repossession…”

You may not necessarily lose your family home in bankruptcy. You may be able to agree a schedule of mortgage payments with your bank and the Official Assignee, where such payments are within the Reasonable Living Expenses approved by him.

If there is no equity in the family home there is no immediate interest for the Official Assignee to sell. However, if the spouse or civil partner wishes to purchase the interest of the Official Assignee, the Official Assignee in determining the purchase price will have regard to the value of the property, the amount of negative equity,  how long the property may remain in negative equity and any other relevant matter.

Myth 2: “You can’t get rid of back taxes…”

YES YOU CAN.

Myth 3:  “I have a simple case, I will do it by myself and not use a solicitor…”

Whilst it is possible to apply for bankruptcy yourself, it is advisable to seek professional advice to assist you in the process.

When you pay an Solicitor, you are paying that person to ensure you file everything you are supposed to file, turn over all the paperwork you are required to turn over, help you maximize your assets and minimize your losses, and to represent you against your creditors. In short, you are paying for the best fresh start you can muster.
But bankruptcy is not an area to shortchange yourself. Filing bankruptcy is your opportunity to make a fresh start. Make it the best start it can be by hiring a good Solicitor to represent, protect, and advise you. Think of it as your first investment in a new financial future.

There is no such thing as a “simple” bankruptcy. Your particular set of circumstances (what you own, what you earn and spend, who you owe, what caused you to fall behind, etc.) can significantly affect your bankruptcy case.
Only a skilled bankruptcy Solicitor can interview you and help you apply the facts of your life to the bankruptcy laws. Non- Registered Personal Insolvency Practitioners and Debt Solution Organisations while commendable in their own right cannot give you legal advice or Appear in Court for you.

No Personal Insolvency Practitioners, Debt Solution Organisations or Paralegals can fight a creditor for you if that creditor contests your case in some manner.

Most importantly, Non- Registered Personal Insolvency Practitioners and Debt Solution Organisations do not have to answer to any regulatory entity, whereas bankruptcy lawyers must comply with the ethical obligations and competency requirements of The Law Society of Ireland.

Any mistake a Non- Registered Personal Insolvency Practitioners and Debt Solution Organisation makes, could end up costing you thousands of Euros or the loss of property. It is also very unlikely that you would have any rights against them if they do make a mistake. You would likely save some money early, only to learn that you lost much, much more later on.

Myth 4:“I will lose my house, car, furniture, or other belongings…”

The maximum value of household furniture or tools or equipment allowed to be retained is a market value of €6,000. So in summary, most often a person who files bankruptcy will lose nothing, unless they have valuable assets that are not exempt. If you are concerned about a particular asset you have, please come in for a consultation.

Myth 5: “Only some Debts are wiped out…”

All debts in your Personal name are wiped out.

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