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Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) Addresses Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) appeared this afternoon before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform to brief members on recent developments within the service. ISI Director Lorcan O’Connor updated the Committee on current timelines and targets, as well as the progress made in areas of debt management and reform since the ISI was officially established in March.

 "Our objective is to help restore people who are insolvent to solvency in a fair, transparent and equitable way," said Lorcan O’Connor. "The new debt reliefs being introduced will help tackle the serious problem of personal debt that we face in this country. The ISI will be in a position to accept applications in mid-August, just five months after the establishment of the service. Behind all of the statistics are people living in genuine distress, under a weight of debt and anxiety. This is what has motivated the ISI team to make the new debt solutions available as quickly as possible."

Mr O’Connor outlined to the Committee the next steps that need to be completed in order for the ISI to start accepting applications in August:

  • The ISI will begin authorising Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) and Approved Intermediaries (AIs) at the end of July. People will then be able to meet authorised practitioners straight away. It will take a number of weeks before a "critical mass" of Practitioners is in place.
  • The ISI IT system needs to be fully operational. At the end of this week, the IT Division of the Department of Justice and Equality is due to handover the ISI’s IT system for complete end-to-end testing involving MABS, potential PIPs and the Courts Service.
  • The remaining provisions of the Personal Insolvency Act need to be commenced, along with the passing and commencement of various amendments contained within the Courts Bill.
    "All of this means that the first Debt Relief Notices (DRN) should issue in early September, as well as the first Protective Certificates that will cover people applying for a Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA). The new arrangements offer an efficient and effective means to tackle problem debt without resorting to bankruptcy," said Mr O’Connor.
    As well as the ISI’s organisational targets, a series of key milestones have been achieved since the end of October 2012, including:
    • Enactment of the Personal Insolvency Act at the end of December 2012;
    • Formal establishment of the ISI on 1st March 2013;
    • Launch of ISI information campaign in April 2013;
    • Publication of Regulations governing the authorisation of Personal Insolvency Practitioners and Approved Intermediaries in June 2013.

 "I firmly believe that the new debt reliefs are not just good for debtors but are also in the interest of creditors by offering a fair way to tackle what is a very large problem for everyone," said Lorcan O’Connor. "Ultimately, it’s in all of our interests to return insolvent people to solvency, ensure their well being, and give them a second chance."