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High Court Approves Personal Insolvency Arrangement for Builder, €2.2M Debt Cleared with €80,000 Payment

By March 5, 2024 No Comments
Personal Insolvency Arrangement

In the matter concerning the Personal Insolvency Arrangement of a construction entrepreneur, precipitated by the downturn within the construction industry towards the end 2007, a sum exceeding €2.2 million in liabilities has been decreed to be absolved in exchange for a singular payment totalling €80,000.

Pursuant to a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) ratified by the High Court, Mr. David Lawlor, aged 60, shall retain possession of his familial home, notwithstanding its condition of negative equity. The Court was apprised of Mr. Lawlor’s circumstances; a separated individual engaged in farming and maintenance, residing at Dragoon Hill, Hollywood, County Wicklow, encumbered with debts aggregating to €2.7 million.

This judicially endorsed arrangement stipulates that the majority of Mr. Lawlor’s creditors are to receive a mere 0.46 percent of the amounts owed to them. The genesis of Mr. Lawlor’s indebtedness was identified as personal sureties extended by him for a construction entity with which he was formerly associated, leading to the dissolution of several development enterprises under his directorship.

Court documents elucidated Mr. Lawlor’s accumulation of significant arrears, compounded by his advanced age, thereby impeding his ability to discharge even a minimal portion of his liabilities. The Honourable Mr. Justice Alexander Owens sanctioned the PIA, upon consideration that insolvency would result in unsecured creditors receiving no repayment whatsoever.

The Personal Insolvency Arrangement, crafted by insolvency practitioner Nicholas O’Dwyer of Grant Thornton and advocated in court by Keith Farry, BL, delineated Mr. Lawlor’s principal debts, including significant sums to Promontoria (Finn) DAC, Promontoria (Scariff) DAC, Lawson Construction, and Everyday Finance DAC.

Mr. Farry apprised the Court of the valuation of Mr. Lawlor’s residence vis-à-vis its mortgage, detailing an arrangement under the PIA for a reduction in the mortgage balance, thereby facilitating manageable repayments over the PIA’s six-year duration, with a portion of the debt to be deferred.

Furthermore, it was disclosed that Mr. Lawlor’s obligations to the Revenue Commissioners were to be partially satisfied from the aforementioned lump sum, contributed by Mr. Lawlor’s sister. The Court was informed of Mr. Lawlor’s asset portfolio, predominantly lacking in substantial value, with specific parcels of land designated for surrender under the terms of the PIA.

In conclusion, Mr. Justice Owens remarked upon the potential for revision of the arrangement contingent upon any increase in Mr. Lawlor’s income. His adjudication affirmed the PIA, deeming it equitable with respect to both Mr. Lawlor and his creditors, satisfying all statutory requisites, and averting the necessity of bankruptcy proceedings.

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