Bankruptcy tourism – not as easy as you think!

Th High Court has recently dismissed two bankruptcy petitions made by Irish nationals who could not convince the court that their centre’s of main interest (COMI) were in England.

In the matter of Brian O’Donnell & Mary Patricia O’Donnell v The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland [2012] EWCH 3749 (Ch) (21 December 2012), the High Court was asked to consider bankruptcy petitions from two Irish Nationals.

The High Court dismissed the petitions on the grounds that the petitioner’s COMI was not in England.

In making its decision, the High Court made it clear that English Courts will not be persueded to grant bankruptcy orders when it is cear that a person’s COMI is not in England.

We have seen increasing amounts of bankruptcy tourism as people from overseas are wishing to take advantage of our more lenient bankruptcy regimes.  In Ireland for example, the bankruptcy period is, at the moment 12 years, although this is set to be reduced to 3 years shortly which will reduce the amount of petitions at least from Ireland.  In England, the bankrupt is automatically discharged after one year.

it is important for anybody facing financial difficulties, whether personally, drectors of limited companies or partnerships, to seek advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner as soon as possible.

To take advantage of our free consultation, please telephone Stella Flemmings on 01377 257788, 01724 230060 or 01904 520116 and she will make you an appointment with one of our insolvency professioals in our Driffield, Scunthorpe or York offices.

Redman Nichols Butler has had a York office for nearly five years now and specialises in advising SME businesses in York and North Yorkshire.  The Redman Nichols Butler York office address is Westminster Business Centre, Nether Poppleton, York, YO26 6RB.

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