Insolvency Application Fees Suspended until 2016

. In order to remove any perceived barrier to seeking help, the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) SI has suspended all application fees for debt solutions until the end of 2015. Previously, these fees were €100 for a DRN, €250 for a DSA and €500 for a PIA.

“Application fees were raised by some people as a potential barrier,” said Lorcan O’Connor, “so we have removed them. We have tried to remove as many obstacles as we possibly can. While the majority of Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) charge a consultation fee, in almost all cases this is in the region of €100-€300 and some may not charge an initial fee at all. When a PIP takes on your case, you get protection from your creditors, you may have more to spend at the end of each week on food and day-to-day expenses, and you will be on a path to a fresh start.”

 

The ISI’s information campaign, ‘Back on Track’, will feature a new user-friendly website www.backontrack.ie, with videos and personal stories from people who have gone through the insolvency process successfully. Print and radio ads will run in regional and national media, starting this week. Guides to the three debt solutions have been revised and simplified, and the ISI will host a series of townhall meetings with community leaders in seventeen venues around the country.

Insolvency Service – Some Statistics

How Many People are Using the Insolvency service of Ireland?

The ISI began accepting applications from the public back in Sept 2013 – but the numbers of debt solutions approved so far seem very small.

Figures as at  31 March 2014

Only 55 Debt Solution Arrangements have been approved – made up of 44 Debt Relief Notices, 7 Debt Settlement Arrangements and 4 Personal Insolvency Arrangements.

There were  523 cases in progress – (320 PIAs, 121 DSAs and 82 DRNs).
The total debt involved in these cases  is approximately €193 million.

Just  70 Protective Certificates were  issued by the Courts. (Protective Certificates give protection to debtors against legal action by creditors for a period and allows a Personal Insolvency Practitioner 70 days in which to develop an arrangement).

There were  66 bankruptcies in the first Quarter of 2014. (Total of 76 since the rules were changed_

The ISI say they have received almost 11,000 telephone calls to its information line and 2,500 email enquiries.

 

ISI Accepting Applications for Insolvency from Sept 9th

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) announced that it will start accepting applications on Monday the 9th of September.
from authorised Personal Insolvency Practitioners and Approved Intermediaries for the new debt reliefs on behalf of insolvent debtors under the Personal Insolvency Act.

 Debt Relief Notices and Protective Certificates

The ISI will begin accepting applications for Debt Relief Notices and Protective Certificates linked to applications for Debt Settlement Arrangements and Personal Insolvency Arrangements from Monday 9th September.

In advance of this date, insolvent debtors can arrange to meet with duly authorised Personal Insolvency Practitioners or Approved Intermediaries to discuss their situation.

 

Get Your Debts Written Off in Ireland

It will soon be possible , under new Personal Insolvency Legislation , to get certain debts of up to €20,000 completely written off in Ireland. From September – people can apply for a Debt Relief Notice  (DRN) and be debt free after 3 years.

Who is Eligible?

Debt Amounts – only debts of less than €20,000 can be covered by a Debt Relief Notice (DRN). If you have bigger debts you need to look into a Debt Settlement Arrangement.

Types of Debts – Debts that can be written off under a DRN  include ; Credit Card Debts, Store Card Debt,  Overdrafts ,  Personal Loans , Credit Union Loans , Utility bills . (All unsecured) .Mortgage debts and other secured debts  are not covered by DRNs

The following type of  Debts can be included in a DRN but only if the creditor agrees:  Taxes, duties, levies  payable to the State ;  Local government charges/rates/household charges  ;  Amounts due to the HSE under the Nursing Home Support Scheme ; Service charges to owner’s management companies  ; Social Welfare Overpayments

Note – Applicants  must not have incurred 25% or more of these debts during the past 6 months

Assets: You are not eligible for a DRN  if you own assets (including property) valued at more than  €400. So homeowners are not eligible for this type of debt relief.

But – these  assets  are not counted :
1 item of jewellery worth  €750 or less
1  motor vehicle worth  €2000 or less
Reasonably necessary household furniture/tools worth less than €6,000

Income Levels- Your monthly Disposable Income needs to be below specified guidelines  – which depend on the size of your household. Disposable Income is defined as Gross Income less :-
Income tax,
Social insurance contributions (PRSI/USC) ,
Reasonable Rent Payments ,
Payments of debts that are excluded from the DRN.

These are some examples of the maximum Income levels for different households that would allow them to be eligible  for a DRN: (This is after payment of Rent)

Single Adult  €1089
Single Parent  + 1 Primary school Aged Child  €1461
Single Parent  + 1 Infant + 1 Preschool Child  €1694
Couple + 1 Primary School aged child €1727
Couple + Primary Child + Secondary Child  €2236
Couple +  2 Secondary School Children  €2439
Couple + 3 Secondary School Children €2949

These amounts are calculated from the ISI reasonable living expenses guidelines for households with a car ( plus the €60 DRN “allowance”) Note : We have included Child Benefit as income because we haven’t reduced the reasonable living expenses to take account of Child Benefit

SO – using an example listed above
A couple with 2 secondary school children who are renting a house for €800 a month would be eligible for a DRN if their net income was less than €2439 + €800  = €3239 a month.
Take out the €260 child benefit – leaving €2979  a  month.
A take home pay of €2979 a month equates to roughly €43000 annual  gross income for a single earner couple.

If this couple have debts of under €20000 they could get  them all written off  in 3 years. (As long as their assets are no more than  €400 plus 1 item of jewellery worth  €750 or less plus 1  motor vehicle worth  €2000 or less , plus household furniture/tools worth less than €6,000)

If someone on a DRN has an increase in  monthly net income of €400 or more; or they  receive a gift or sum of money of €500 or more -  they have to give  50% to the ISI for the benefit of their creditors.

Once a Debt Relief Notuce is issued it lasts for 3 years – none  of the creditors listed in the DRN can  can pursue you for the debts you owe them that are specified in the DRN. At the end of the 3 year period, all debts listed in the DRN will be written off in full.

Authorised Personal Insolvency Practitioners

The first batch of Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) have been approved by the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI).
Anyone who intends to apply for  a Debt Settlement Arrangement or  a Personal InsolvencyArrangement will have to apply through one of these authorised PIPs .

There are currently just nine on the list of approved PIPs – with 4 of them in Tipperary. Apparently about  100 individuals have applied for approval to become PIPs.

The ISI is preparing for thousands of applications for debt relief, with estimated government figures suggesting that there will be 15,000 applications for debt settlement arrangements (DSAs) and personal insolvency arrangements (PIAs) in the first year of the new insolvency regime. About 3,000 to 4,000 applications for debt relief notices (DRNs) are also expected.

Approved PIPs Aug 12th 2013


County
Name Address Telephone
Co
Clare
Mr.
John Hogan
4 Abbey Street
, Ennis
065
682 4894
Dublin 2 Mr Jim Stafford 44 Fitzwilliam
Place
01 661 4066
Dublin 2 Mr Michael
McAteer
24-26 City
Quay
01 6805 805
Dublin
2
Mr.
Alan Geraghty
44
Fitzwilliam Place

01
661 4066
Dublin 2 Mr Tom Murray 44 Fitzwilliam
Place
01 661 4066
Co Limerick Mr Robert
Gloster
2 Cecil Street
, Limerick
086 804 5655
Co
Louth
Mr.
John Donnan
Mill
House Mill Street

Dundalk

042
932 6400
Co Meath Ms Tara Cheevers The Steeple
Buildings

High Street , Trim

046 943 8461
Co
Meath
Mr.
Barry Forrest
3C
Dunshaughlin Business Centre

Dunshaughlin

01
802 4217
Co
Tipperary
Ms
Marie Lane
Unit
6 Crann Ard

Fethard Road , Clonmel

052
618 4496
Co Tipperary Ms Frances
O’Hanlon
Unit 6 Crann
Ard

Fethard Road , Clonmel

052 618 4496
Co Tipperary Mr John Lynch Jervis House

Parnell Street , Clonmel

052 612 4344
Co Tipperary Mr John O’Connor Unit 6 Crann
Ard

Fethard Road, Clonmel

052 618 4496
Co Waterford Mr Mitchell
O’Brien
Garraunfadda

Dungarvan

Co Waterford

058 23511

Irish Insolvency Service Soon Open for Business

This week the the director of The  Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) ,  Lorcan O’Connor , updated the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform on the latest ISI progress and  targets.

He told them that he expects the ISI to be in a position to accept applications from the public in mid-August, ( five months after the establishment of the service).

Applications to become   Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) and Approved Intermediaries (AIs)  are already being processed and they will be authorising some  by the end of July. People will then be able to meet authorised practitioners straight away.

The Insolvency Service’s  IT system is still not  fully operational.  By the  19th July  complete end-to-end testing of  IT systems is due to start  and will involve involving MABS, potential PIPs and the Courts Service.

There are still some provisions of the Personal Insolvency Act that have not being signed into Law .

The ISI  expect that the first Debt Relief Notices (DRN) will  not be issued until early September 2013 . It will be Septyember too before the first Protective Certificates will be issued ( These will cover people applying for a Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA).

Who Can become a Personal Insolvency Practitioner ?

With the new Irish Personal Insolvency regulations  – there will probably be plenty of people thinking of  making money out of sorting out other people’s debt problems.

Anyone who wants to apply for a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement will have to apply through a PIP – Personal Insolvency Practitioner. These PIPS will be able to charge fees . The fees will be taken out of the payments made to creditors.

The Insolvency Service started  accepting applications to become a  PIP during June 2013. There will be an application fee of €1500 and a renewal fee of €1000 annually. You can make your  application  here

According to the Insolvency Service of Ireland – only the following types of people can make an application to carry on practice as a personal insolvency practitioner

A solicitor in respect of whom a practising certificate (within the meaning of the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011) is in force; or

A barrister at law called to the Bar of Ireland;

A qualified accountant and a member of a prescribed accountancy body (within the meaning of section 4 of the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003; or

A qualified financial advisor who holds a current qualification from the Life Insurance Association of Ireland (LIA), the Insurance Institute or the Institute of Bankers School of Professional Finance; or

Anyone who holds a qualification in law, business, finance or other appropriate similar qualification to the satisfaction of the Insolvency Service recognised to at least level 7 of the National Qualifications Framework by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (or equivalent)

ALSO – the person must be able to  demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Insolvency Service that he or she has relevant knowledge and experience of and has completed a course of study and passed an examination on the law and practice generally as it applies in the State relating to the insolvency of individuals; and the Act

PLUS - Before someone  can become  a Personal Insolvency Practitioner, they must aslo satisfy the Insolvency Service that he or she:

a) has adequate organisational capability and resources to carry on the practise of a Personal Insolvency Practitioner

b) holds a policy of professional indemnity insurance.

c) is tax compliant.

 

Summary of New Insolvency System in Ireland

The Insolvency  Act will  introduce 3 new debt resolution mechanisms to help mortgage-holders and other people with unsustainable debt to reach agreements with their creditors. It will probably be July before anyone can apply for any of these.

The three proposed new mechanisms are summarised below :  Click on the links to find out more about each of them

 

A Debt Relief Notice (DRN) to allow for the write-off of debt (generally unsecured ) up to €20,000, subject to a 3-year supervision period

A Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over 5 years

A Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) for the agreed settlement of secured debt up to €3 million (though this cap can be increased) and unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over 6 years

The Personal Insolvency Act will also introduce automatic discharge from bankruptcy, subject to certain conditions, after 3 years as opposed to 12 years at present.

Personal Insolvency Practitioner Fees

Some of the big financial companies will be trying to get some of the personal insolvency work in Ireland now that the new Personal Insolvency legislation is going to be implemented.

Anyone applying for the Debt Relief Notice (on debts under €20k)   will not pay any fees.
The more complex DSA and PIA will require the involvement of a Personal Insolvency Practitioner – and they can charge fees. It is the creditors who will pay the fees (the people or companies that are owed the money).
How much will the Fees be ?  In  in one of the examples on the Insolvency Service website – the PIP fees were estimated at €12000 over 5 years.  This was for a Personal Insolvency Arrangement for a couple. In the example the unsecured creditors were owed around €90000 – but at the end of 5 years they will only get just over €18000 back. The PIP gets two thirds of what the creditors get – and over €72000 is written off.

In another example of a PIA – the estimated PIP fees were €5100 over 5 years.
An example of a DSA involving  debts of €80000 -  the PIP fees were estimated at €4000 over 5 years.

MABS will be Approved Intermediary Service for Debt Relief Notices

Approved Intermediary Service is established in MABS to provide Debt Relief Notices under the Personal Insolvency Service

 

A Debt Relief Notice is  designed for people who have very low disposable income and little assets, and will allow for the write-off of qualifying debt up to €20,000, subject to a three-year supervision period.

To obtain a Debt Relief Notice, an application must be made through an Approved Intermediary. MABS will be providing an Approved Intermediary service to process applications for Debt Relief Notices

The Citizens Information Board together with MABS,  is working closely with the Insolvency Service to put the Approved Intermediary Service in place. Sixteen temporary money advice staff have been recruited to facilitate the rollout of the service within MABS.

A regionally based Approved Intermediary Service Transition Unit (AISTU) has been established and all Money Advice Co-Ordinators and one Money Advisor in each of the 51 local MABS companies around the country are being trained as Approved Intermediaries to ensure that the service will be available nationwide from the outset.