Personal Finance

Friday 1 August 2014

Insolvency deals for over-extended borrowers picking up pace

IMHO have expressed concern over data released

Charlie Weston

Published 14/07/2014|11:33

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Some 120 arrangements for stricken borrowers were approved in the April to June period

THE new State body set up to administer debt deals for over-stretched borrowers said today it was making progress in putting arrangements in place.

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The Insolvency Service of Ireland admitted it had got off to a slow start but said the rate that debt deals are being agreed has now picked up.

It said 120 arrangements for stricken borrowers were approved in the April to June period this year.

Some 27 of these deals involved mortgage debt, in a so-called personal insolvency arrangement (PIA).

The service started accepting applications from borrowers last September.

Head of the Insolvency Service Lorcan O’Connor said: “Although the numbers have been low to begin with, they are increasing every month and the trend is moving in the right direction as people become more comfortable with the suite of ISI debt solutions.”

Last week there was a call from the Oireachtas Finance Committee for a review of the operation of the new service, because of the low number of deals being arranged.

This afternoon, the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation (IMHO) have said that the data released raises a number of major concerns and proves that the insolvency system is not fit for purpose.

"There are well over 100,000 people in mortgage distress with their family home in Ireland and each having other unsecured debt.  Families are crippled with debt, many are seeking a way to resolve their debt, the insolvency service was to be a game changer and to date this has failed to materialise”, said David Hall CEO, IMHO.

“These figures show, no matter how attractively they are presented, that it’s not working in a crisis that affects hundreds of thousands of citizens.  The insolvency service last quarter completed a pathetic 27 Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIA) and 30 Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA).”

The IMHO has called for The Minister for Justice to establish a review group immediately "which must include non-commercial debtor advocates".

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