After Sean Dunne filed for bankruptcy on 29th March, NAMA was asked how many of its developers have now filed for bankruptcy outside (the Republic of ) Ireland. When asked the same question a year ago, NAMA said that approximately 20 had filed for bankruptcy elsewhere. However, NAMA declined to provide a up-to-date figure two weeks ago, and said that it would publish such information in its 2012 annual report which is now set to be published early this year in June 2013.
NAMA was also asked how much debt it has written off following foreign bankruptcies. And surprisingly it said it has written off no debt whatsoever. That is surprising because we have now reached the stage where those who went to London to file for bankruptcy have served their 12 months and are being discharged. For example the Grehans, who owed NAMA about €600m in total, were discharged at the end of 2012/start of 2012, but the first high profile NAMA bankrupty in the UK was that of Cork developer, John Fleming who filed for bankruptcy in November 2010 and was discharged in November 2011. John owed €1bn to his creditors with a sizable proportion owed to NAMA.
So, 18 months after his discharge, John is financially reborn and the slate is wiped clean. Yet NAMA has not written off a cent of what it was owed. NAMA says that it is awaiting the bankruptcy trustee to dispose of all the property. This seems almost incredible, 18 months after the discharge from bankruptcy and begs the question whether NAMA is overstating its profit by failing to write off the debts of those discharged from bankruptcy.
These are the parliamentary questions and responses.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Questions Nos 198 and 199 of 23 April 2013, when he stated the National Assets Management Agency advises that even there the bankruptcy is discharged, the bankruptcy estate continues until such time as all assets have been liquidated and the debt, insofar as possible, has been repaid and in relation to the discharge from bankruptcy in Britain of a person (details supplied) in November 2011, if he will confirm that NAMA has still not written off the unpaid debt originally owed by the person to NAMA, and that generally, NAMA has not yet written off any debt as a result of bankruptcy by its debtors in foreign jurisdictions..
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan: As previously advised, even where a bankruptcy is discharged, the bankruptcy trustee continues to deal with outstanding debt until such time as all assets have been realised and the debt, in so far as possible has been repaid. NAMA advises that it is precluded from commenting on individual cases. As has also been previously advised, NAMA has not written off debt arising from debtor bankruptcy applications.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance if he will confirm the total number of individuals who are debtors of the National Asset Management Agency who have filed for bankruptcy outside the jurisdiction of the State.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: To ask the Minister for Finance if he wil provide an estimate of the total amount of original par value debt written off by the National Asset Management Agency as a result of debtors filing for bankruptcy outside the jurisdiction of the State..
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan:I propose to take questions 198 and 199 together.
NAMA is currently finalising its Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2012. I am advised that these will contain extensive information regarding its operations, including its insolvency activity and the locus of debtor bankruptcy proceedings. I am advised that the Report and statements will be published within two months.
NAMA advises that it does not write off debt as a result of debtors filing for bankruptcy outside the jurisdiction of the State. Rather, it is a matter for the bankruptcy proceedings to deal with the outstanding debt. NAMA advises that even where the bankruptcy is discharged, the bankruptcy estate continues until such time as all assets have been liquidated and the debt, in so far as possible, has been repaid.