In May 2018, the Bankruptcy Division of the Insolvency service of Ireland hosted a seminar for delegates representing insolvency enforcement teams from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales with a view to exchanging knowledge, expertise, tools, methodologies and advices specifically around the areas of asset recovery and investigations. The seminar provided an opportunity to compare best practice across the IAIR 6 Nations and supported the high-level goals of each organisation to ensure that:
- Debtors comply with their obligations before, during and after the insolvency process;
- Non-compliant debtor behaviour is targeted effectively and dealt with in a timely manner;
- Creditors receive a dividend by realising / recovering assets of value (including those fraudulently transferred or dissipated prior to entering the insolvency system);
- The organisation’s reputation and the integrity of the insolvency system is maintained
Summary of Discussions
It was noted during the seminar that whilst there were many similarities between different jurisdictions in terms of the type of case(s) each regulator is required to administer/manage, different approaches are adopted by the various insolvency regulators. Key differences between jurisdictions particularly around the areas of outsourcing, treatment of negative equity properties, reliance on the Courts and bankruptcy sanctions were highlighted. Reasons for differences in approach are predominantly due to the underlying legislation under which each organisation is operating, the length of time the organisation has been in operation and varying levels of investment in technology and staffing.
The seminar provided delegates with useful insight in terms of assessing the differing legislation/systems/policies and processes, which have evolved in across various jurisdictions over the years. The discussions provided delegates with an opportunity to consider these approaches and the appropriateness of implementing further change in their respective jurisdictions for the benefit of their respective insolvency regime.