Category Archives: Personal Insolvency

Jobs at The Insolvency Service of Ireland

Alan Shatter T.D, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, has announced the commencement of  recruitment of some  of the specialist staff required by  the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI).

U up to 80 staff, including some specialist staff, may be required initially  for the Service itself. It is expected that they will be mainly sourced through redeployment from other areas within the public service.

Arrangements are also being made for the transfer of the functions, in regard to the administration of bankruptcy currently carried out by the Courts Service to the new Insolvency Service.

A number of specialist staff will be required, on either short and long-term contracts. To start this process, and to ensure that the Service will be in a position to discharge its functions early in 2013, the Government has agreed that a recruitment process for a number of accountants and an in-house solicitor, should commence immediately.

Where suitable staff cannot be sourced from redeployment from across the public sector, they will be recruited through an open process organised by the Public Appointments Service.

Considerable emphasis is being placed on developing the Information and Communications Technology aspects of the new Service, with priority attention being devoted to the design and development of the necessary case management, financial management and management information systems. The process of identifying and securing an appropriate office premises for the new Service is also underway.

Minister Shatter said ““I am keen that the new Insolvency Service will be in a position to open for business as soon as possible after the necessary legislation is passed by the Oireachtas. This approval by Government of the staffing resources necessary is a key step and I look forward to speedy progress over the coming months.”

Personal Insolvency Seminar Galway

A Personal Insolvency Seminar is being held at the   Harbour Hotel Galway on October 24th 2012.

Speakers: Barry O’Neill, Aengus Burns

Presenter: Chartered Accountants Western Society

CPD Hours: 2

Cost: €40.00 (£31.76)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 6pm to 8pm

The recently published Personal Insolvency Bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation introduced in Ireland in recent years.

The key features of the Bill are the introduction of new non-judicial debt settlement systems and the proposal that the period of bankruptcy be reduced from 12 years to 3 years.

It is expected that the Bill will radically reform our existing insolvency legislation. It provides for different forms of debt relief for the borrower, depending on the nature and amount of the debt. It also includes a new Scheme of Personal Insolvency, which it is hoped will be a key step in addressing the mortgage arrears crisis and help rebalance the rights of the borrower and lender in a fairer manner.

It is expected that the Bill will become law by mid November.

 

Appointment of the Director of the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Alan Shatter, T.D., today announced that he has appointed Mr Lorcan O’Connor to be the Director-designate of the Insolvency Service of Ireland. He will take up his post on 22 October, 2012.

The salary for the position of Director-designate of the Insolvency Service of Ireland  is as follows  –  €127,796 – €133,605 – €139,898 – €146,191

 

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is a statutory body which will be set up to  under the Personal Insolvency Bill . It is expected that the Report and Final Stage will be completed in the Dáil in October.

The ISI will be responsible for all matters concerning personal insolvency, both judicial and non-judicial. Its main functions will be to provide and manage the processes necessary for the efficient operation of the new non-judicial debt settlement procedures being developed under the legislation; to determine applications for debt relief under the proposed Debt Relief Certificate process; to further develop insolvency policy and legislation; to develop guidelines for insolvency procedures; to provide necessary information to both the public and practitioners; and to develop and maintain appropriate statistics in regard to insolvency.

 

Mr O’Connor   is a Chartered Accountant and Business & Legal Studies graduate of UCD. He  has almost 15 years’ experience in the area of insolvency. He is a Council member and Treasurer of the Irish Society of Insolvency Practitioners. Between 2006 and 2008 he was seconded to the Department of Transport as the Department’s Financial Adviser.

Minister Shatter said, “I am delighted that Lorcan has accepted the appointment. As Director he will be the key driver of the delivery of the reform and will be required to bring together all of the critical elements – legislative and organisational – so as to ensure coherence in the ultimate development of the Service. He brings to the position a wealth of experience that equips him ideally for the many challenges that lie ahead.”

Insolvency Bill Approved by Cabinet

The Cabinet has today approved the publication of the Personal Insolvency Bill this Friday (June 29th)

Enda  Kenny said the legislation would give a clear incentive for the banks to sit down with borrowers and work out bilateral agreements for the first time.

He also confirmed the period of bankruptcy would be reduced from 12 years to three as a result of the new legislation.

The Bill, which is a requirement of the agreement with the IMF / EU and ECB  –  is expected to become law in the autumn.

 

Personal Insolvency Bill Expected by end of June

THE PERSONAL Insolvency Bill,  will be published by the end of June 2012  according to  Minister for Justice Alan Shatter .

Mr Shatter also said he hoped the Legal Services Regulation Bill would be enacted by the end of the year.

He said he hoped the Bill, when enacted, would encourage financial institutions to engage with people in debt in a realistic manner, without having to have recourse to the measures that would be contained in the Bill.

 

Insolvency Laws Not Due Until Autumn

Justice Minister – Alan Shatter  has said that he now expects the new insolvency legislation to come into force in the Autumn.

Only last week it was announced that  publication of the new legislation has been delayed until the end of June, even though the original target date was  the end of April.

A range of voluntary debt settlement systems are outlined in the draft version of the laws, as well as a plan to cut the period of bankruptcy from 12 years to three.

Minister Shatter said that ” we hope the second-stage debate on the Bill will commence in the Dáil in July.”

 

 

Insolvency Laws Need to be Carefully Drafted

The European Commission produced a report on Ireland this week – titled Economic Adjustment Programme for Ireland — Winter 2011 Review

They noted that ……

Progress continues to be made towards reforming the personal insolvency framework, including amendments to the Bankruptcy Act and the creation of structured non-judicial settlement and restructuring systems. An important element of the authorities’ strategy in this regard, as reflected in the Heads of the Personal Insolvency Bill approved by the government and published on 24th January 2011, is the proposed establishment of a dedicated Insolvency Service to oversee the main elements of the out-of-court debt resolution process. These include:

(i) debt relief certificates (DRCs). These certificates are intended to benefit persons who have no assets and no income and are unable to pay relatively small unsecured debts (the debt obligation needs to meet certain conditions, including being not larger than EUR 20,000);

(ii) debt settlement arrangements (DSAs). These are meant to allow the settlement of unsecured debts larger than EUR 20,000 between a debtor (who has income and assets) and two or more creditors; and

(iii) personal insolvency arrangements (PIAs), which allow for the agreed settlement and/or restructuring of both secured and unsecured debts larger than EUR 20,000 (up to a ceiling of EUR 3 million) between a debtor (who has income and assets) and one or more creditors.

The legislation will be carefully drafted to prevent expectations of debt forgiveness for solvent debtors. While the inclusion of secured debt (e.g. mortgages) in the non-judicial framework can be an important element in facilitating the development of adequate strategies to address the pertinent issue of mortgage distress, it should be carefully formulated in order to prevent an adverse impact on borrower behaviour and unintended consequences for the profitability of Irish banks.

Thus the authorities appropriately intend to permit DSAs and PIAs only on a voluntary basis so that the consent of the debtor and a majority of the creditors would be required.

As regards the reform of the 1988 Bankruptcy Act, the key element of the authorities’ strategy is the reduction of the automatic discharge period from the current 12 years to 3 years, which aims to make the bankruptcy process less punitive and costly for consumers, while ensuring that banks’ incentives to supply credit in future are not unduly affected. The discharge period can be extended to 8 years where the debtor has been uncooperative, dishonest or engaged in wrongful conduct. Provision is also made for income payment orders for up to 5 years from the bankruptcy discharge.

Following completion of on-going consultation with relevant government departments and the Attorney General and further refinement, the Personal Insolvency Bill is expected to be published in full by the end-April 2012 programme deadline.

Personal Insolvency Bill and interest rates.

In the Dail thi sweek – Enda Kenny was talking about mortgage debts and the proposed Personal Personal Insolvency Bill .
He said the ” negative equity generation” are directly impacted on by this issue. Thousands of people are in negative equity because of reckless lending processes in banks.

He also said that he “noted the comments of the Bank of Ireland which is moving back towards private funding, but I disagree with Mr. Richie Boucher, its chief executive, when he says Government personal insolvency legislation will increase interest rates for mortgage holders who are paying their way.”

Kenny continued … “The Personal Insolvency Bill is for those who have a series of difficulties across a spectrum of circumstances. It should be made clear, as the Bank of Ireland is aware, that the banks have been recapitalised to deal with mortgage distress and with circumstances where people are in serious difficulty with their mortgage. The Bill has been designed to deal with people in difficulty.”

“It is wrong to suggest, as I saw in a newspaper today, that the Personal Insolvency Bill will cause interest rates to rise for people who are paying their way and facing challenges in their mortgage. That is not the intention. The banks have been recapitalised to deal with cases in which the holders of a residential mortgage are in serious distress. It is a matter for the banks and lending institutions to sit down with individuals and work out the best prospect.