"Father faces jail sentence over debt of €4,000"

Lets hope she wins. It is absolutely disgusting that a person who takes out a loan and ends unable to pay then faces prison. Why not bring in the workhouse whiloe their at it.
I would have no problem with the law sending profit chasers to prison if they can´t pay. In fact sending a rake of Canny McSavys to prison would send a strong message to muppets who try to make a quick buck without knowing anything about economics or finance.

That report sickens me. Shame on the Monaghan Credit Union.

Shame on them for lending her the money or shame on them for enforcing their rights under the contract she entered into with them?

What happened to personal responsibility though I am sure there would be less sympathy for a canny in the same position eh?

I’m probably wrong but I know of no other western country that gaols debtors.

If they courts are going to persist with these actions the government will have to build prisons all over the country.

The UK does.

The reality is that thsoe who put their heads in the sand tend to end up in the situations those Monaghan debtors have, people who are pro-active don’t (though I do note that the man appears to have gone to MABS)

It’s always very easy to take the side of the soft target. The credit union is providing a service to it’s members -the general public of the area. When a person borrows money and does not repay there should be a penalty. Can we all agree on that? Once the lender realises that they will not be repaid. It is of no direct financial benefit to them to see the debtor sent to jail, however it is beneficial for people to learn that there are consequences to their actions. It is important to send out a message -in particular in the case of credit unions that they are not seen to be a ‘soft touch’. While I do agree that a prison sentence is extreme, what other sanctions do we have? Community service might be more appropriate or perhaps a provision to deduct amounts from social welfare at sourse would be more appropriate?

In the particular case of the lady borrowing for her sons funeral -this is tragic on many levels, however the very fact that she had to borrow for same indicates a lack of money readily available to her -and even more so the fact that she was unable to repay same. Surely there is provision at local level -county council or whatever to fund such events, when the immediate family do not have the capacity to do so?

On a more cynical note if she can offord to finance a constitutional challange of the debt law, I expect she could afford to repay the debt.

With the banks rolling over repayments and bending over backwards for developpers this case sickens me -

Isn’t it time this country got it’s priorities right?

The government should be ashamed!

have to agree with roadhouse on this one, if people don’t pay then they take from those who do pay, and the rightful deposit interest doesn’t go to the responsible savers.

if you want to take up causes like these then do something about it, forfeit your interest on any savings you have and write that man and lady a cheque.

tragedy is part of life, horrible as it is, bad things happen and the timing is never right, but if we don’t hold contract law above all others then the fabric of business society pays the cost. why not declare bankruptcy and face the outcome?

no, they’d rather make a sob story to a soft jury via a high court injunction! - injunctions are pricey business, would it not be easier to just repay the loan?

The question is not whether the debt should have to be paid back or not it’sa how come we live in such a fugged up country where the government guarantees the debts of a few super cannies, the banks roll over their debts which will never get paid all guearanteed by us and yet we can jail someone for a 4k debtr,
This in a country where cooper flynn never spent a minute in jail, where haughey never spent a minute in jsail, where aherne will never spend a minute in jail,
where tax evasion is never treated with Jail.

Our laws are archaic and designed to protect the rich and powerful while punishing the weak and the poor.

I think there is more to these stories than meets the eye. But that is speculation on my part, it’s just seems something is been left out either for deliberate tabloid effect or something. I could be wrong.
Whilst I agree with some of the posts regarding taking responsibility etc. the point is that the law seems to treat people inequitably. The richer you are, the less likely it is you will go to jail, even though your actions may have had a much more damaging effect on society.

I do agree with that, but surely it would make more sense to have a system whereby the CU could garnish his income. That way they get their money before he ever gets his hands on it.

There is more to this than meets the eye.

Monaghan CU was in serious trouble a few years back and , dare I say it , was heading for a bailout by the League of Credit Unions.

archives.tcm.ie/businesspost/200 … y13857.asp

Policies on debt recovery may be set in Dublin not in Monaghan nowadays .

I despair. I really do. To think you can be jailed for living in poverty.

Yet you are hailed for being a financial guru. Your swagger the talk of the town. Yet you are up to your fucking gills in brown envelopes and rotten dirty secret loans nevermind the tax implications.
In the same breath to cover your filthy political ass you can exact more tax to hand over to the Banksters of vanity who used trust for their own league of decadence.

There is nothing more violent and worthless than the consignment to poverty by a society so hellbent on something. Yes hellbent on what it is not sure.

The problem is not the enforcement of contract but the enactment of criminal penalty by the state in order to enforce a private contract.

I’m all about personal responsibility. They should most definitely have to pay that money back. Cannys will invariably elicit less sympathy than the old or single parents but I don’t think they should go to jail either.

However the cannys should have to pay for their own mess too. No state aid to cover their mortgages. No propping up their rental properties with social welfare (unless it’s at real market rates).

Personal responsibility and contractual obligations are all fine and well but we also have to recognise not every contract is entered into freely or with a full understanding of what’s going. Now you might say “Well tough cheese!” but a fair justice system discriminates between those who negotiate in bad faith and those find themselves simply unable to meet their contractual obligations. Furthermore we shouldn’t punish people just for the sake of it. Sending people to jail for not paying debts doesn’t do anything to help them pay that debt.

Take for example the craze of buying shitty apartments off the plans. Unfortunately pretty much none of those contracts have a provision letting the buyer off the hook if they can’t secure a mortgage. Now there’s plenty of blame to go around for the whole property mess between developers, banks, the government and ultimately individuals who exercised poor judgement but if an individual signed a contract for an apartment, still wants the apartment and would buy it if they could get a mortgage but can’t then what’s to be done about it? Bring him to court? Send him to jail?

Mindless contract enforcement just ensures those with power keep all the power. If you lack the ability to negotiate a non-one-sided contract (like for example you want somewhere to live but nobody offers a “inability to secure finance” clause) then you also never get into a position where you can.

its Sean Fitzpatrick I feel sorry for :open_mouth:

Indeed there would seem to be public assistance payable to people who cannot afford a funeral.

I’ve also a very dim memory of someone saying that a funeral director actually cannot enforce a debt as the service they provide is deemed to be an act of public mercy. That said, I stress this is a very dim memory – but if anyone else has heard of this I’d be interested in confirmation (or refutation). If relevant, might it suggest the link to funeral expenses is an attempt to see if (in addition to invoking tragedy), that it might have had a slim chance of the debt being deemed unenforceable.

That would seem like a reasonable statement.

Absolutely, and those folk have just as much stuff going on in their lives as the non-payers.

Indeed, and doesn’t this have enormous implications. I mean, if we deem people to be incapable of freely entering into contracts, can they be allowed to make any decisions independently? For the sake of argument, can they be allowed to make decisions about what medical treatments they should undergo?

This is true. Its not so much that action can be taken against a small debtor – its that the large debtors don’t get touched at all.

That said, I certainly don’t see this as the moment to make laws on enforcing debts more lenient. I think the issue is just about enforcing them generally.

Is it fair to say that the issue is the current crisis exposes a fair chunk of our political and business elite. They just aren’t going to go quietly, and the political class in particular don’t face any real challenge from anyone with a mandate.

In some eastern european countries it is a criminal offence to take out a loan and not pay it back.

Jail is the last resort for debtors in Ireland, but what else is there? Is it right to have judgements of the court that are completely unenforceable?

In fairness, the people who really can’t afford to pay their debts should be able to file for bankrupsy protection (in a better system than our present one, but that’s a matter for another thread) which would stop them from being jailed for a debt.

I do agree with the points made about the iniquity of the bailout v. the plight of joe public, but since someone in such a situation has options other than going to jail, it is not like they have to go to jail - they only go to jail if they don’t engage with the court’s judgement.

I’m not realy that up on things financial, but was reared to appreciate that a debt must be paid. Agreed, there are circumstances where the debt must be waived (for an extremely good reason), but, like everything in Ireland, if this becomes commonplace where will it leave those of us who do pay?

The example was given earlier of the swaggering political money guru - but there is also the example of the ‘blower’ hanging off the bar stool, bragging about signing and working, obtaining medical cards, while at the same time avoiding his/her debt commitments and conning organisations like the V de P.

This is the very real other side of the coin. The two cases mentioned here seem genuine enough on the outside, but for every genuine case how many scammers are there?

Just a thought…

Hard cases make bad laws. At face value, the people in these cases should be treated leniently. If you make loans non-recourse, lenders will have to price this in and less credit will be available. In turn such people might only get credit from loan sharks. It may seem cruel, but it’s important to have some sort of stick. Gaol should be reserved for borderline fraud cases. Community service should be the main penalty applied.

It does seem that certain borrowers receive better treatment. As it is the bank that is owed the money, it’s up to them to choose what actions to follow. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. It would be very difficult to create laws to ensure all borrowers are treated equally.

If jail wasn’t an option if banks / companies would be more discerning to whom they would give credit.