BankruptcyBankruptcy is the formal settlement of debts you cannot pay and other options have failed or are not suitable. Bankruptcy proceedings ensure your assets are shared fairly among your creditors, through a court official, the Official Assignee (OA) in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy usually lasts for one year, and any outstanding debt will be written off.

To be eligible for Bankruptcy you must insolvent, which means you are unable to pay your debts to creditors in full when they are due, and swear an affidavit stating that you have made reasonable efforts to use the alternative arrangements to bankruptcy such as Debt Settlement Arrangement or Personal Insolvency Arrangement to the extent your financial circumstances permit you to.

Before you go Bankrupt you must consult with a Personal Insolvency Practitioner who will complete an Insolvency report for court with the Bankruptcy Division of The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI)* and present a statement of affairs to summarise your financial situation, disclosing that your debts exceed your assets by more than €20,000.00.
* (Not a member firm of UHY)

Debts included in Bankruptcy

There are certain debts that can and cannot be settled through Bankruptcy.


  • Personal loans and credit cards
  • Business and commercial loans
  • Family maintenance payments under court orders
  • Revenue debts
  • Personal guarantees
  • Unsecured section of property loans
  • Trade debts
  • Secured debt – E.g. Mortgage
Not Included

  • Court fines (Criminal offences)
  • New debts incurred by you after the date you were declared bankrupt

Bankruptcy Consequences

  • Your property transfers to the Official Assignee
  • You have a duty to contribute from surplus income (income less reasonable living expenses) towards your debts for up to five years
  • All your debts are written off

You must prepare a petition for bankruptcy:

  • Undertake to attend in person at the Statutory Sitting in court
  • Undertake to advertise notice of your bankruptcy adjudication and Statutory Sitting
  • Make various statements regarding your Centre of Main Interest, domicile or related matters

Alternatives to Bankruptcy

Debtors must show that they have made reasonable efforts to avail of a Debt Settlement Arrangement, a Personal Insolvency Arrangement.


Next Steps:

o Talk to an expert