Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has said the publication of the new Personal Insolvency Bill 2012 will radically change the face of insolvency law in Ireland and will provide a workable solution to those struggling to cope with unmanageable debt levels.
The publication of the Bill by the Government will see the automatic discharge period for bankruptcy being reduced from 12 to 3 years, bringing Ireland in line with European norms.
Senator Mulcahy stated that the “proliferation of reckless lending carried out over the last number of years and the massive inflation of house prices has left many in County Clare up to their necks in debt”.
“The provisions of this Bill are designed to meet the needs of those who genuinely cannot keep their heads above water. It does not provide for the automatic write-off of negative equity. Nor does it provide assistance to solvent debtors,” he added.
The Senator continued: “A number of flexible arrangements have been put in place to deal with varying levels of debt. They range from Debt Relief Notices (DRN) which will allow for the full write-off of qualifying debts of up to €20,000 for those who have no assets or income. Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) will deal with unsecured debts of no upper limit over a five year period, while Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIA) will deal with secured and unsecured debt up to €3 million over six years, with the possibility of this cap being increased. The provisions of the PIA are designed specifically to ensure that the struggling debtor remains in his/her family home.”
“Those who are struggling to keep up financially should talk to their lender in an attempt to come to a payment arrangement that is suitable for both sides. Banks and financial institutions are being encouraged to come to realistic debt settlement arrangements with their debtors, who, in turn, will be shown a way out of their debt problems,” Senator Mulcahy concluded.
Note To Editor:
Senator Tony Mulcahy is available for interview on 086-2436345