New figures show level of Galway bankruptcies

Nearly 90 people declared bankruptcy in Galway over the past three-and-a-half years, according to a new report from the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

The figures show that from the beginning of 2014 to the end of June 2017, there were a total of 88 bankruptcies here.

And a further 120 people came to insolvency arrangements with creditors during the same period through Debt Relief Notices (DRN), Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) or Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIA).

The majority of debt is related to mortgages, the figures show.

Where certain criteria are met for debt, a DRN allows the write-off of up to €35,000 subject and the person is subject to a three-year supervision period.

A DSA allows for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt (with no limits) over a period of up to five years. A PIA allows the restructuring or settlement of secured debts of up to €3m and the settlement of unsecured debt over a period of up to six years.

The Galway figures show there was a rate of 4.5 bankruptcies per 10,000 adults – comparative figures show Kildare had the worst rate at 7.8 per 10,000 (124 people), while Kerry had the lowest at 2.8 (32 people).

Dublin recorded 3.7 (385 people); Wicklow 7.1 (74 people); Limerick 3.5 (51 people); Cork 5.1 (207) and Waterford 6.1 (53 people).

For the three forms of insolvency arrangement (DRN, DSA and PIA), the rate in Galway was 6.2 per 10,000 adults (120). The highest rate was in Waterford at 30.4 (264) while the lowest rate was in Limerick at 4.1 (61 people).

Other rates included Carlow at 19.7 (83 people); Dublin at 5.8 (607); Cork at 12 (492) and Wicklow at 16.4 (171 people).

Nationally, a breakdown of the debt involved in insolvency arrangements in the second quarter of 2017 (a total value of €588 million) shows 43.9% was related to mortgages on people’s homes (just under €258.4m); 30.8% (€181.5m) related to Buy-To-Let investor mortgages; 19.8% (€116.4m) was owed to financial institutions; 1.2% (€6.8m) to Revenue and 1% (€5.6m) to credit unions. A further 3.3% (€19.4m) was classed as ‘other debt’.

Lorcan O’Connor, Director of the Insolvency Service of Ireland, said: “Each quarter, ISI statistics show that our solutions are getting more and more people back on track financially. While it is understandable that the effects of debt on mental health can prevent people seeking the help they need, my message to anyone still experiencing unmanageable debt is to consult with one of our regulated professional advisors. Those with mortgage arrears can also avail of a free consultation with a Personal Insolvency Practitioner under the Abhaile service.”