Section 8 – Duties of trustee
31.Section 8(1) inserts new subsections (3A) and (8) into section 3 of the 1985 Act, which as amended by this Act provides for the functions of the trustee in sequestration.
32.Section 3(3A) of the 1985 Act clarifies that the trustee has a duty to report any behaviour of the debtor to the AiB, if the trustee considers that the behaviour would merit a bankruptcy restrictions order or undertaking. Any such report will be absolutely privileged.
33.Section 3(8) of the 1985 Act qualifies the responsibility of the trustee to adhere to some of the requirements of section 3. In particular, the trustee is now given leeway to depart from functions of:
recovering, managing and realising the debtor’s estate;
distributing the estate amongst the creditors according to their respective entitlements;
ascertaining the reasons for the debtor’s insolvency, and the circumstances surrounding it; and
ascertaining the state of the debtor’s liabilities and asset,
if the trustee thinks that doing so is in the best interests of the creditors and would be financially beneficial to the estate.
34.In a similar vein, subsection (2) inserts new subsection (9) into section 39 of the 1985 Act, which provides that the trustee need not do anything permitted by section 39 nor comply with the requirements about realising secured property unless that is in the best interests of the creditors and would be financially beneficial to the estate.
35.Subsection (3), by inserting a new subsection (2A) into section 49 of the 1985 Act, also imposes an obligation on the trustee to circulate details of the creditors’ claims and the amount accepted to the debtor and all known creditors.