The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act 2015 (No. 60 of 2015) was signed by the President on 25 December, 2015.

 

The Act:

- reduces the normal duration of bankruptcy from 3 years to 1 year, except where the term is extended for non-cooperation or concealment. (Existing bankruptcies to be discharged, subject to a 6 month transitional period, to enable the Official Assignee to seek extension in any case of suspected concealment or non-cooperation).

- enables the Court to extend bankruptcy term to up to 15 years in cases of particularly serious non co-operation by the bankrupt person.

- reduces the maximum duration of bankruptcy payment orders from 5 years to 3 years, except where this is extended for non-cooperation or concealment. In such cases, the maximum duration of the payment order would remain 5 years, subject to expiry at latest on the 8th anniversary of the original adjudication.

- automatically re-vests the home in the discharged bankrupt person within a 3 year period of bankruptcy adjudication, if the Official Assignee has not sold it (or applied for a Court order to do so) within that period.

- removes the outdated requirement for a ‘statutory sitting’ of the High Court after bankruptcy adjudication, which must be attended by the bankrupt person, the creditors and the Official Assignee.

- clarifies that the Official Assignee is entitled to demand electronic records of a bankrupt person.

- widen the powers of the Official Assignee to disclaim onerous properties.

- introduces measures to modernise and streamline bankruptcy procedures and reduce unnecessary delays and costs to the parties and the taxpayer.

Click here for link to the Act.

 

The Bankruptcy (Amendment) Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2016 commenced most of the provisions of the Act on 29 January 2016. Click here to see the Order.

The only provisions not commenced under the Order are those dealing with the abolition of the requirement for a 'statutory sitting' of the High Court in bankruptcy cases (sections 3, 4, 5, 13 and 14). Those provisions require changes to the relevant Court Rules and will be the subject of a further commencement order.