How to determine relevant date for bankruptcy procedures

The high court in recent months has determined the relevant date for the centre of main interests (COMI) of a debtor.

The two possibilities were a) date of presentation of bankruptcy to the High Court or b) date of the hearing of the application in the High Court.

In this case the date of presentation of bankruptcy was 7 June 2012 and the eventual date of the hearing was 16 July 2013 (13 months later).

The judge ruled that if the date of the hearing was taken as the appropriate date, the debtors COMI might be dependent on the efficiency of the legal process in any given jurisdiction and the debtor may seek to establish a new COMI to delay the hearing.

Therefore the relevant date is the date of presentation of bankruptcy to the High Court.

In recent months the High Court has determined a debtor centre of main interests (COMI) by reviewing the following;

  • Where the debtor owns properties;
  • If public statements have been made regarding the debtors home address;
  • Where antiques, paintings and other valuable assets are kept;
  • Which jurisdiction individuals are registered to vote;
  • Bank accounts held in Ireland and the movement in recent years (monies moved to/from jurisdiction);
  • Directorships of companies held and in which countries;
  • If the debtor had applied for any membership’s in the year of court action e.g. practising certificate from the Law Society of Ireland and
  • Where the bulk of debt is held.

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