Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Bailiffs Are Come

Straight out of Victorian novels, the bailiffs have returned to do their nasty work. What a cold and heartless plot device it was, to show humiliation and degradation and utter embarrassment. All the neighbors, gathering about, watching one's possessions being claimed for unpaid debts. Who would have guessed that there are still bailiffs out there, doing the same task as was written up all those many years ago?

Disgraced solicitors Thomas Byrne and Michael Lynn have provided fodder for the modern novelist who would like to tackle the topic of getting in over one's head. Charles Dickens made a living at that sort of subject. David Copperfield is ready for a modern makeover, if you're up to the task of writing the story.

The Dublin city sheriff (bailiff has such a negative term in Ireland, what with the history of evictions and such) raided Mr. Byrne's flat and Mr. Lynn's home, coming away with various items of value. No Ming vases in this era, but the sheriff did recover a plasma television and cases of French wine.

Knowing what was coming, the solicitors had already absconded with all that was portable, leaving the sheriff with little for his efforts. All the "goods and chattels" that remained were some appliances, some furniture and mirrors. The sheriff left the "matrimonial bed" because second hand beds are worth less than the cost to remove them. One would assume that the Mrs. Disgraced Solicitors were taken into consideration, as they would still need a place to sleep, albeit alone.

What was confiscated will be sold at auction, but the banks that are holding over EU127 million in bad loans won't get much back on the sale. Their best hope of recouping some of the loss lies in the property that they are reclaiming and putting up for sale.

Oh, and if you're re-writing the Dickens classic? Remember that there are no debtors prisons any more. It's just regular, ordinary prison. If the debtor gets caught, that is.

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