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No opposition to Personal Insolvency Bill during Dáil debate

The bill includes measures to help mortage holders out of debt, with one TD saying it “has the potential to help families sleep easier at night”.

Image: stevendepolo via Flickr/Creative Commons

THE PERSONAL INSOLVENCY Bill 2012 received no opposition when it was discussed during the second stage of debate in the Dáil last night.

The new laws aim to overhaul Ireland’s bankruptcy regime and help struggling mortgage holders out of debt.

Debt

Under the proposals, a person with debts of between €20,000 and €3million can enter a Personal Insolvency Arrangement if they are insolvent, where their debts would be taken over by a trustee who will propose a deal with creditors.

If a borrower owes less than €20,000, they would be able to apply for a debt relief certificate, which would see their debts wiped off if they remain unpaid after a three-year ‘freezing period’.

Borrowers can also seek a Debt Settlement Arrangement. Under this, they would agree to settle their unsecured debts over a five-year window.

If they do not agree to the arrangements, they can seek to declare themselves bankrupt. The new law proposes to reduce the minimum discharge time from 12 years down to three.

Welcomed

Speaking about the Bill, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter, TD, said

I welcome the completion of the Second Stage debate in the Dáil and the very substantial support expressed for the Bill.  I particularly welcome that no opposition vote took place to its provisions and I look forward to the Committee Stage being dealt with before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality next September.

Labour TD for Galway West, Derek Nolan, told the Dáil that it will “give hope to families who have been devastated by unmanageable mortgage debt”.

Dominic Hannigan TD described the bill as “the right step forward” and said it:

has the ability to change people’s lives in a way that other bills do not. If we make this bill as good as it can be, it has the potential to help families sleep easier at night.

Read: Shatter publishes long-awaited plans to reform insolvency law>

Read: Wallace puts political parties under fire for ‘nauseating’ behaviour>

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