Insolvency Service of Ireland update

The Insolvency Service of Ireland put out a press release in relation to news stories stating that the personal insolvency legislation was to be changed. Full release without edits is below.

Both the Minister for Justice and Equality and the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) have given a commitment that the effectiveness of Personal Insolvency legislation will be kept under review and that if issues arise that need to be addressed, that they will be addressed.

This has already resulted in some amendments to the legislation during 2013 which were of a minor nature and primarily operationally focussed.

Contrary to some media reports that significant changes to the personal insolvency legislation are required in 2014, Mr. Lorcan O’Connor, Director of the ISI, indicated that this is neither contemplated nor necessary.

Mr Lorcan O’Connor also said: “Huge progress has been made in the area of personal insolvency in      recent months. Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) are reporting a significant increase in the numbers of enquiries from people who need their services. The ISI expects the number of cases to increase
significantly over the coming weeks and months.

He also said “the new arrangements are similar to examinership in that the legislation allows for a period of 70 days for a PIP to agree an arrangement.  Therefore it will be the second quarter of 2014 before
large volumes of cases complete the process. Meanwhile we are aware that  the presence of the ISI has acted as a catalyst in encouraging creditors and debtors to come together and do deals.”

ISI plans to introduce a protocol the ISI hopes to develop a protocol involving practitioners and
creditors to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, a streamlined process surrounding debt solutions under the Personal Insolvency Act.

The development of a protocol is in line with best practice in other jurisdictions and does not require amendments to existing legislation. A similar protocol was developed in the UK for their Individual
Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) which is comparable to the Debt Settlement Arrangement here in Ireland.

The UK protocol, once it was agreed and adopted, resulted in significant acceptance rates by creditors there – exceeding 90%. A conference has been scheduled for February to discuss the development of
such a protocol.

Numbers of Practitioners The Insolvency Service of Ireland has now authorised over one hundred PIPs.
It is expected that this number will continue to increase over time. Insolvent debtors can decide to engage a PIP from any location in the country and a register of PIPs is available on
http://www.isi.gov.ie/en/ISI/Pages/PIPs

Additionally, 24 Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) companies, with over 50 responsible persons, are currently authorised as Approved Intermediaries (AIs) and it is expected that these numbers will also
continue to increase.  A register of AIs is available on http://www.isi.gov.ie/en/ISI/Pages/AIs

Number of Applications In the interest of confidentiality the ISI will not be providing details or
breakdowns of the numbers of applications received or being processed at this time. The ISI fully intends to provide quarterly statistics once a statistically meaningful number of applications have been processed, this will be in the second quarter of 2014.

ENDS

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