Shane Filan declared bankrupt


Shane Filan declared bankrupt
Westlife star's finances in ruins

I would ask that the media respect, within reason, the privacy of my family

Westlife star Shane Filan has been left devastated after he was declared bankrupt in a UK court this week — just days before he sings with Westlife for the last time.

The chart-topper released a heart-breaking statement yesterday about his serious financial problems and is determined to rebuild his future for his family.

He said: "Following increasing financial difficulties, and having exhausted all other options, earlier this week I was declared bankrupt in Kingston County Court.

"It was a very difficult decision to take, but the most responsible course of action, given the debts I owe to banks on property investments.

"Together with a team of financial and legal experts I have spent months exploring all possible alternatives to bankruptcy but to no avail.

"I have worked long and hard to try to reduce my debts, and I am devastated that it came to this conclusion. I now intend to focus on the remaining dates of the Westlife tour and my commitments to the band before looking to rebuild a future for my wife, my three children and myself.

"I would ask that the media respect, within reason, the privacy of my family."

While his band members are looking forward to new careers in the entertainment business Shane (32) is dealing with massive debts.

Earlier this year Shane's property company Shafin Developments, which he owned jointly with his brother Finbarr, went into receivership. Both Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland are pursuing debts.

In May Ulster Bank appointed Patrick Horkan of KPMG as receiver as the company owed the bank €5.5 million. This is not thought to be the entire debt owed to all the banks which is estimated to be as high as €10 million.

Shafin Developments had accumulated losses of €3 million by the end of 2010 and a bank debt of around €5 million. One of their loans from Bank of Ireland was for €1.3 million which was used to purchase farmland in Co Leitrim and a stretch of mountainside where the family kept horses. The property ventures were also funded by Anglo Irish Bank.

Shane hit the headlines in September when he sold his vintage Aston Martin in England for just under €400,000. He had bought as a 30th birthday present to himself. The family are believed to have moved from their stunning home in Sligo to Surrey over the Christmas holidays.

Shane was officially declared bankrupt on Monday in the Kingston-upon-Thames County Court in Surrey. He will be discharged from bankruptcy on June 11, 2013.

His case description states that he is a professional singer living in Cobham, Surrey and "lately residing" at an apartment in Kensington in London.

Westlife are currently on their farewell tour before they make a tearful goodbye to their fans later this month in Croke Park.
They played in the Liverpool Echo Arena last night and will perform their last two concerts for around 160,000 fans in the massive Dublin venue next week.

It is expected that Shane will launch a solo career after Westlife as alongside Mark Feehily he provided the main vocals for the band. Reports have claimed he has signed a solo deal with Universal but yesterday a spokeswoman for the record company stated that nothing has been confirmed.

The group shocked their dedicated fans when they announced last year that they were bowing out of the business after 14 years. The long-running boyband recently confirmed that they are not planning to reunite in the future unlike their counterparts Boyzone and Take That.

Yesterday Shane's band members rallied around him and Kian Egan told The Star: "We have all agreed to say nothing."

Shane married his childhood sweetheart Gillian Filan (nee Walsh) in Ballintubber Abbey, Co Mayo in 2003. The reception took place in Ashford Castle and was attended by almost 400 guests including the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The couple became parents for the third time in 2010 when Gillian gave birth to a baby boy called Shane. Their other two children are six-year-old Nicole and three-year-old Patrick.

Under UK law you cannot be pursued for debts after a year of bankruptcy, but you can be asked to contribute from income you earn after being made bankrupt for a period of up to three years.

This means that Shane can be asked to contribute cash he earns from the Westlife Farewell Tour if it is earned after June 11 — once his reasonable living expences have been covered.

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