Bankruptcy – What Happens To Your Pension?


Bankruptcy is a High Court process that deals with secured debt and unsecured debts. When you are made bankrupt, your assets transfer to a person in the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) called the Official Assignee. Most forms of unsecured debt are written off and you may be able to agree on a schedule of mortgage payments with the bank and the Official Assignee to enable you to remain in your home. Bankruptcy normally lasts for one year.

Generally, pension assets are not transferred to the Official Assignee. 

However, pension income receivable by you will be treated as income for the purposes of your bankruptcy. An ARF and Vested Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (Vested PRSAs) may be included in your bankruptcy estate for realisation and payment to your creditors.

If you have a pension entitlement that matures within five years of your bankruptcy order, the Official Assignee will have the right to claim it for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Paul Leonard, Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email:

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Posted on December 17, 2016 by Cooney Carey

Default Interest – Ireland Revisits the Test for Penalty Clauses


Default interest and penalty clauses were revisited by the Irish High Court recently in two connected cases.

Both cases taken by the plaintiff, Breccia, related to loans that which were initially granted by Anglo Irish Bank Plc and were since sold to a third party fund.

The loan agreements provided for the application of surcharge interest at a rate of 4% on amounts unpaid. The relevant provision was contained within the standard terms and conditions for the loans and had the effect of doubling the interest payable.

A central issue in both disputes was whether the inclusion of default interest in the loan redemption figures constituted a penalty and whether the application of any such default interest was, as a result, unlawful and unenforceable.

UK and Irish Precedent

In Ireland, the leading authority on penalty clauses is ACC Bank Plc v Friends First Managed Pension Funds Ltd & others (the “ACC case”). In that case the court found surcharge interest rates to be penal in nature where such rates could not be considered a “reasonable pre-estimate” of likely loss in the event of a default.

Recently the UK Supreme Court in the Cavendish decision handed down Read more

Posted on October 27, 2016 by Paul Leonard

What You Need To Know About The Irish Credit Bureau (ICB)


What is The Irish Credit Bureau?

The Irish Credit Bureau (ICB), currently the main credit reference agency for individuals in Ireland, complies a database of information supplied by the country’s main financial institutions. The database includes information on a wide range of loans, including personal loans, mortgages and credit card loans.

The ICB does not decide whether or not you get a loan. Financial institutions use the information held by the ICB when deciding whether or not to lend to you.

What does the ICB database include?

The ICB’s database holds information about you if you have had Read more

Posted on September 13, 2016 by Cooney Carey

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