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Personal insolvency and bankruptcy searches – Law Society Practice Note



The Conveyancing Committee recommends that, when carrying out bankruptcy searches, practitioners also ensure that searches are carried out on the new registers set up pursuant to recent personal insolvency legislation.

Personal insolvency/bankruptcy searches on the following registers are recommended:

  1. A bankruptcy search on the register of Irish bankruptcies maintained at the Office of the Examiner of the High Court,

  2. The Register of EU Personal Insolvencies held at the Office of the Official Assignee,

  3. Register of Debt Relief Notices,

  4. Register of Protective Certificates,

  5. Register of Debt Settlement Arrangements,

  6. Register of Personal Insolvency Arrangements.

The committee checked with various law searching firms to seek confirmation from them that, when requested to do a bankruptcy search, they will include searches against all of the above six registers and that, if they do not currently carry out all six searches when requested to do a bankruptcy search, they will make this their practice in the future.

The committee also sought confirmation from the law searching firms that, if requested to do those searches, they will advise the requesting solicitors on the cost of the searches or confirm that they are included in the price of any standard package of closing searches being offered to solicitors.

It appears from the responses received to date from law searchers that:

  1. Some will carry out the searches on the new registers only if specifically requested,

  2. Some will make an extra charge for them – that is, they are not currently included in the cost of closing searches ‘package’,

  3. Some will include them in the cost of the package once this practice note is published.

The committee recommends that solicitors take this matter up directly with their own law searchers to ensure that the full range of personal insolvency/bankruptcy searches will be carried out and to establish the exact terms and conditions, including cost, on which the searches are provided.

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