Dealing with your Debts

Here is a list of things that you should Do and Not Do if you are in Debt…

Do the following apply to you?

Are your debts increasing?
Are you under pressure to keep up payments?
Do you want to improve your control of your finances?

If yes then Consider trying some of these simple dos and dont’s. Continue reading

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Going Bankrupt in Northern Ireland

Judging by a recent list of bankruptcy petitions, it seems that in N.Ireland almost every occupation, trade & profession has been affected by the recession. Students, unemployed persons and those who are retired have not escaped either.

The law requires that all bankruptcy orders be published so that creditors in particular can make their claims against the estate of the bankrupt person. Anybody who has financial troubles can petition for their own bankruptcy but the majority of petitions are instigated by creditors who have given up chasing payment of the debts. Continue reading

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Who is to blame for my personal debt?

Wanting to blame somebody else for our own financial problems is an entirely predictable and human reaction, particularly in the current recession. There has been a huge growth in personal indebtedness in the last ten years, particularly mortgage debt and credit card debt. If we want to allocate blame objectively, then we must consider the role of the three main parties who contributed to the problem: ourselves the borrowers, the lenders and the government. And if we want to find a solution to our predicament, we must look to the same three parties to contribute to the solution. Continue reading

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Different Perspectives on Debt Management Plans

From the Viewpoint of Creditors

While creditors differ in how they view and treat Debt Management Plans, it is probably fair to say that creditors generally look on a Debt Management Plan (DMP) as the lesser of at least two evils. They would obviously prefer that debtors repaid their debts in full. However, if it is a straight choice between a DMP and bankruptcy, the DMP is a clear winner as far as creditors are concerned. In a DMP, creditors can expect to have debts repaid in full, albeit over a longer – sometimes much longer – period of time than what was agreed in the original loan contracts. However, if the debtor was to petition for bankruptcy, creditors usually rate to do much worse and often recover little or nothing of the original debt. An IVA is also preferable to bankruptcy, from the point of view of creditors, since the debtor will effectively repay the maximum amount possible over an extended period, usually five years from both disposable income and from any realisable level of equity in property. Continue reading

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Moving to the UK to sort out your debts

The UK has historically had, at best, an ambivalent attitude to its partners in the European Union (EU). It would be fair to say that during and indeed since the Thatcher era no love was lost between the UK and at least some of the other now twenty six members. This animosity however is not always reciprocated. Europe loves some of the things that the UK does. One of those areas where the UK has shown the way is in the area of personal insolvency legislation. Although there are some small regional differences within the UK – for example, Scotland’s legislation differs somewhat from that which governs England, Scotland and Wales – generally other member states of the EU admire the UK way of dealing with the personal debt of its citizens. The laws relating to bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements in the UK are attractive to many citizens of other EU member states, which historically have tended to punish rather than rehabilitate the errant debtor. Now EU citizens can benefit from the favourable personal insolvency regime in the UK. Continue reading

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Harmonizing Personal Insolvency Debt Solutions in the European Union

Did you know that there are now twenty seven countries in the European Union (EU) all with their own personal insolvency legislation? The mind boggles at the volume, variety and complexities of laws and regulations which this must entail. The EU of course seeks the harmonize laws including insolvency laws in member states as one of its objectives. Until such harmonization is achieved, citizens of member states of the EU may legally seek to address their own personal insolvency and seek to apply a solution in the member state which is most favourable to their situation. In the area of personal insolvency, bankruptcy tourism has sprung up as citizens have become aware that they can seek to deal with their financial problems in a jurisdiction other than that in which their debt was incurred. Bankruptcy tourism could perhaps be humorously defined as the free movement of financial solutions (or problems), going hand in hand with the free movement of labour.

Continue reading

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Bankruptcy Tourism in Europe

Bankruptcy tourism in Europe is increasing as an unexpected consequence of the principle of the free movement of labour in the European Union (EU). Certain jurisdictions in the EU have much more favourable laws for dealing with the individual insolvency of citizens than others. The UK stands out as the pre-eminent country in this regard. Bankruptcy and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs) offer insolvent debtors in the UK a second chance and an opportunity to deal with their financial difficulties in a timely and affordable way while avoiding the sometimes punitive approach adopted by some other EU member states in their current legislation and indeed in their prevailing social culture. Continue reading

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Euro 50,000 Minimum Level of Debt for Bankruptcy in Ireland

If and when the new Irish government – widely expected to be a coalition of the Fine Gael and Labour parties – decides to reform the Bankruptcy Act 1988, one of the key matters to consider is what the appropriate level of debt should be to ground a creditor’s petition for bankruptcy. Continue reading

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The Future of Bankruptcy in Ireland

While the Law Reform Commission (LRC) of Ireland did not draft new legislation reforming the Bankruptcy Act 1988 it did include an appendix to its most recent and final report on personal insolvency, published in December 2010, outlining what it saw as essential amendments to the Bankruptcy Act 1988. Continue reading

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Will New Irish Government Tackle Personal Debt Law?

It will fall to the new Irish government – widely expected to be a coalition of the Fine Gael and Labour parties – to enact new personal insolvency legislation in Ireland. The Green party has been credited with recognition of the void in Irish law in this area and with pushing the Law Reform Commission (LRC) to finalize its proposals for change. However the Greens have failed to negotiate the final hurdle of enacting legislation, largely due to the lack of interest from their senior coalition partners Fianna Fail who have been preoccupied with dealing with the financial tsunami currently engulfing Ireland. Continue reading

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