Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Ceisteanna (213)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

213. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason there are no registered solicitors on the free legal aid list for County Meath. [13004/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, Abhaile, the national mortgage arrears resolution service, was launched in October 2016 and it includes a new scheme of independent financial and legal advice and assistance to insolvent homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes due to mortgage arrears. The scheme is co-ordinated by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and is available across the country through the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, MABS, the Insolvency Service of Ireland, the Citizens Information Board and the Legal Aid Board.

It should be noted that the solicitor panels set up by the Legal Aid Board for Abhaile are by court area rather than by the county in which the solicitor is based.

For persons who have been granted legal aid for proceedings for a review of a rejected personal insolvency arrangement under section 115A of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (as amended), the Legal Aid Board will supply the person with a list of solicitors who are willing to act in the Circuit Court venue where the proceedings are being taken.

The table below indicates the numbers of solicitors who are available to provide services for the scheme in Trim Circuit Court - the designated court in County Meath for listing home repossession cases.

Duty Solicitor Panel: 8*

Solicitor Consultation Service Panel: 12

PIA Review Legal Aid Service Solicitors Panel: 14

* Note: In addition, the Legal Aid Board assigns a solicitor from the duty solicitor panel to each sitting of the county registrars' court. The legally assisted person does not select the solicitor.

Persons who wish to avail of the consultation solicitor service, for the Abhaile scheme, may bring a legal advice voucher to any solicitor on the panel, irrespective of the court jurisdiction or their place of residence.