Irish nurses, teachers and other public servants are taking career breaks to avail of Britain’s bankruptcy laws.
The Sunday Independent reports on the growing trend as civil servants struggle to cope with the economic crash.
The paper reports that Irish and British lawyers see a growing trend of public service workers moving across the Irish Sea for a year to go bankrupt.
Insolvency lawyer Steve Thatcher told the paper that the surge of high profile Irish businessmen who moved to Britain to go bankrupt has been replaced by nurses and teachers.
Bankruptcy in England takes just a year compared to three years in Ireland.
He said: “I have had civil servants who have been able to get extended time to come across and do what is necessary to be declared bankrupt.
“They spend four or five months setting up what is described as their centre of main interest in the UK. They then spend a subsequent six or seven months dealing with the official receiver . . . then they could go back at their job in Ireland while the bankruptcy process is being completed.”
Irish lawyer Anthony Joyce, who specialises in personal insolvency, also said there is now a of Irish people taking sabbaticals to go to the UK.
Joyce said: “In a number of cases we’ve seen school teachers do it. Most of them are single. We live beside a neighbour which has got the most forgiving bankruptcy laws in Europe and who speaks English.
“Until Ireland has the same mentality as they have in the UK, which is to forgive rather than to punish, then we will continue seeing people avail of their much more lenient system.’’
Thatcher said he has also met Irish civil servants who have decided to remain on in Britain after their bankruptcy.
He added: “Some of those who have come over from Ireland actually decide to stay in Britain having rid themselves of their debts.
“Lots of families have moved this year for the first time. In the past it was the big developers who were coming over and large amounts of money were involved.
“But now the sums being written off are smaller. These are people with debts on the family home, and who also owe money on one or two investment properties.”
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