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Saturday 24 February 2018

Tough rules 'aimed at discouraging' write-off deals

Charlie Weston and Fiach Kelly

THE Government is attempting to discourage people from taking up new insolvency deals to get mortgage debt written off.

That is why it has opted for such tough new guidelines setting out what people can live on if they want debt written off, a county sheriff and mortgage support groups claim.

People seeking mortgage debt deals will have to give up private health care, not take a holiday and may have to go without a car.

The new guidelines on what is an acceptable minimum living standard for those getting borrowings reduced are set to be issued by Justice Minister Alan Shatter and head of the new Insolvency Service of Ireland, Lorcan O'Connor, after Easter.

But the new county sheriff for Cork, Sinead McNamara, said the whole thrust of the new guidelines was to stop people taking up the option of a personal insolvency arrangement.

This is where a person agrees a deal with their banks to have their debts written off after six or seven years if they keep to a revised payment schedule.

David Hall, of the Irish Mortgage Holders' Organisation, said the State and banks were "doing everything in their power to frighten people out of doing insolvency deals".

Irish Independent

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