Thursday, 17 April 2014

Questions (198)

Michael McGrath

Question:

198. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is planning any change to the rules governing the insolvency service in view of the low uptake to date and the fact that certain banks have said they will veto any deal that involves a write down of mortgage debt; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18498/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

During the course of the past year the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) has overseen the introduction of the new alternatives to bankruptcy introduced by the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 - the Debt Relief Notice (DRN), the Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) and the Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA), as well as a reformed bankruptcy regime. As a result, insolvent debtors now have viable options available to them to deal with their indebtedness. The availability of these options has encouraged creditors and debtors to reach settlements through informal arrangements. While the key statistics published by the ISI at the end of March 2014 are lower than expected, the number of new cases which have entered the system since the beginning of the year and feedback received by ISI from the Personal Insolvency Practitioners and Approved Intermediaries suggest that the uptake of formal insolvency arrangements will increase significantly. The development by ISI of protocols between creditors and practitioners covering DSAs and PIAs are expected to assist in that regard. I am aware of recent comments made by certain banks regarding mortgage debt. From the outset, I have stated that the personal insolvency legislation is not set in stone and that I will introduce whatever amendments prove to be necessary to ensure its success. Indeed, I have already introduced a number of useful technical amendments during 2013. I can assure the Deputy that my Department and the ISI will continue to keep the effectiveness of the legislation under review and any necessary amendments will be introduced when required.