Sisters-in-law allowed to write down millions in debt under insolvency scheme

Two women will pay €100 lump sum and will continue to repay mortgages

The High Court has approved personal insolvency arrangements allowing two sisters-in-law to write down millions of euro of debt owed to banks and a fund which is an affiliate of global investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Una and Margaret Kinsella have total debts of €8 million and the terms of their Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIAs) include that they will continue to make payments on the mortgages on their respective homes and will each make lump sum payments of €100.

Out of those payments, financial fund Ennis Property Finance, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, will receive €182.

Keith Farry BL, for the Kinsellas’ personal insolvency practitioner Alan McGee, told the court the PIA was more advantageous to their creditors than if they were to be adjudicated bankrupts. It would also allow both applicants to retain their family homes and return to solvency within 12 months.


The women’s debts of €3.36 million to Ennis Property Finance, an unsecured debt, arose out of personal guarantees given by them in respect of loans, acquired by the fund, advanced to their husbands’ business.

The PIAs were formally approved by Mr Justice Mark Sanfey at the High Court on Wednesday. Counsel told the court that Una Kinsella of Roscomroe, Ballybritt, Roscrea, Co Tipperary had debts of approximately €3.8 million, owed to AIB, Permanent TSB and Ennis Property Finance.

Under her PIA, the 45-year-old carer, will also sell investment properties in Co Offaly, worth €190,000, in which she has an interest. She owes €356,000 to AIB in respect of the mortgage, which is a secured debt, on her family home, worth €195,000.

Under the PIA the mortgage has been restructured, with part of the debt written off, so she will make repayments of €607 per month over the next 20 years. She will also make a lump sum payment of €100, of which €94 will go to the fund.

Investment properties

Margaret Kinsella, of Clashroe, Ballybritt, Roscrea, had debts of €4.2 million owed to Ennis Property Finance, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, AIB and the Spanish Bank, Banca March, counsel said. Under her PIA, the 50-year-old will also sell investment properties in which she has an interest. She owes €257,000 to BOI in respect of her family home which is valued at €200,000.

Under the PIA her mortgage will be restructured, with part of the debt written off, providing for repayments over the next 20 years of up to €650 per month. She will also make a lump sum payment of €100, of which €88 will go to Ennis Property Finance.

Despite the small lump sum In both cases, Mr Farry said the creditors do better under the PIAs than if the Kinsellas were adjudicated bankrupt. There were no objections to the PIA being approved by the court.