Seizure of Assets in Ireland

Updated on Friday 14th June 2019

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In the last few years, Ireland evolved as one of the most prolific economies of the European Union, however, there was also a large number of debtors who from various reasons failed to comply with their obligations and became subject to debt recovery procedures. Many times, when a debt cannot be recovered amicably, the seizure of assets is the only way in which the amount of money owed can be compensated for.

When it comes to the seizure of assets in Ireland, the authorities must comply with the local legislation, however, as an EU country, certain EU directives can apply.

If you are dealing with a debt collection case in Ireland and have reached the stage of seizing the debtor’s assets, our lawyers can help you. Our debt collection lawyers in Ireland can explain the procedure related to recovering any amount of money.
 

Laws related to the seizure of assets in Ireland


We should mention from the beginning that the Irish legislation does not have different proceeding for the confiscation of assets with provenience from civil or criminal cases, therefore an Irish court will base its decision on the case presented by the solicitors.

The following laws apply with respect to the seizure of assets in Ireland:
 
  • the Proceeds of Crime Law which was first enabled in 1996 and amended in 2005 when the new act was merged with the previous one;
  • the Criminal Assets Bureau Act which was created at the same time with the Proceeds of Crime Law;
  • the Money Laundering Regulations which includes both provisions from the national and EU legislation;
  • the Framework Decision on Freezing and Confiscation of Assets imposed at EU level which has ramifications in all EU states’ local regulations;
  • the Framework Decision on Mutual Recognition of Confiscation Orders which provides for the recognition of EU court orders in all member states.

Creditors dealing with bad payers can request the services of debt collection agencies in Ireland for the first stage of the amicable procedures, however, they are advised to ask for specialized advised from lawyers when it comes to aspects such as the seizure of assets.
 

Steps in the procedures of confiscation of assets in Ireland


Before the seizure of assets becomes effective or a decision in this sense is made, it is important for several procedures through which the assets can be recovered without a court order. The main stages in a civil case which includes debt collection in Ireland include:
 
  1. the investigatory stage during which an officer of the court is appointed to verify the assets of the defendant (the debtor in a debt collection case);
  2. the pre-trial restraint stage during which the officers cannot seize any of the assets of the debtor before a trial;
  3. the procedure leading to the seizure of assets which implies the trial during which the decision is made by a judge;
  4. the execution of the seizure of assets order which is the actual stage in which the assets of the debtor are confiscated;
  5. the last stage implies the sale by auction or other actions which enables the claimant to recover the debt.

Our debt collection lawyers in Ireland can offer more information on the trial stages which can lead to the seizure of assets of a debtor.

We offer tailored legal advice in debt collection cases in Ireland can help both local and foreign claimants recover any outstanding amounts of money through amicable or court proceedings.
 

Court orders for seizing assets in Ireland


Companies involved in debt collection cases in Ireland can ask for legal advice and file petitions with the local courts in order to recover any outstanding amounts of money. In case a court order for the seizure of assets is issued, the court will appoint an officer to conduct the verification and execution of the order.

The Criminal Assets Bureau was created in 2002 and at the time it had to deal with investigating the assets held by persons accused of various crimes in relation to the Criminal Code. Later on, the Bureau was assigned more roles and now it can also investigate the assets held by debtors, especially when dealing with bad taxpayers.

Our debt collection lawyers in Ireland can offer more information on the orders related to the seizure of assets. Orders issued by EU courts can also provide for the seizure of assets, however, in this case, the confiscation of the assets will be completed by a Council created under the Council Decision on Asset Recovery Offices.

According to the Insolvency Service in Ireland:
  • the number of arrangements between debtors and creditors increased by 15% in the second quarter of 2018;
  • in the same period, the number of debtors securing personal insolvency arrangements increased by 90%;
  • the total number debtors registered in the second quarter of 2018 was of 981 new cases;
  • the amount of money owed by these debtors was 640 million euros during the timeframe.


If you need assistance in debt collection or cases related to the seizure of assets in Ireland, do not hesitate to contact us. Our debt collection lawyers in Ireland have a wide experience in such cases.