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Hard Times

Almost 200 people have lost their homes to bankruptcy in just over a year

Prior to January 2014, only 10 family homes or Principal Private Residences were surrendered.

NEW FIGURES ISSUED by the Department of Justice have shown that almost 200 people lost their homes because of bankruptcy in a fourteen month period.

Between January 2014 and March 2015, 177 people surrendered their family homes or Principal Private Residences to the banks.

In this period a further 23 family homes or Principal Private Residences were repossessed by a secured creditor.

Out of the 177 properties surrendered, 34 were “surrendered and accepted by bank prior to bankruptcy”, 67 were “abandoned by debtor – not surrendered to creditor”, 31 were “surrendered post bankruptcy or receiver in place” and 45 were “appointed/ surrender being finalised by the Official Assignee/ other”.

This showed a big surge on the number of repossessions from the previous two years. Between 2011 and 2013 a total of 10 family homes or Principal Private Residences were surrendered.

An annual breakdown for this period was not available.

New information

This new data comes from a parliamentary question asked to the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald by Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath.

In a further question, McGrath asked the Minister for the number of bankruptcies that had been annulled or set aside each year since 2011.

Since then, there have been 12 annulments.

In her response, the Justice Minister explains that it is the High Court which is responsible for annulments and that “very few” happen each year.

The three ways that a person can appeal a bankruptcy are to ‘show cause’, where a person appeals against the validity of the injunction within 3 days; when there has been en error in declaring a person bankrupt and; when an order of the High Court is appealed to the Supreme Court.

Read: In mortgage arrears? Here’s how the government plans to help

Also: Brian O’Donnell says his legal battle stopped a man about to take his own life

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