Bankrupt Irish Flee to U.K.

    A woman walks past a wall covered in graffiti, which reads 'What This City Needs Is Hope' on a building in Dublin, Ireland, on November 25, 2011. Hammered by austerity measures a year after receiving a massive EU-IMF bailout, Ireland is hailed as a eurozone poster boy for the way it is coming to terms with the consequences of its boom to bust. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

    Peter Muhly, AFP / Getty Images

    What do you do if you can’t pay your debts in Ireland? You start by leaving Ireland. The Financial Times reports that “bankruptcy tourists”—sophisticated investors caught in Ireland’s real-estate crash—are fleeing to the U.K. to escape harsh bankruptcy laws that can make the process take 12 years in Ireland. In the U.K., where most of these exiles go, bankruptcy takes only one year. That's an attractive prospect to the 300,000 Irish mortgage holders in negative equity, who have seen their property values decline 50 to 60 percent. At least one company, IrishBankruptcyUK, has been started to help Irish “tourists” navigate the U.K. insolvency process.

    Read it at Financial Times