Information campaign kicks off to help those struggling with debt find a way out

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has said the launch today of Insolvency Service Ireland’s public information campaign will allow those who are struggling with the burden of debt to find a way out of their financial difficulties.

“Many people in Dublin Fingal, and right across Ireland, feel crippled under the weight of debts that were acquired during the boom. For these people, the burden is overwhelming and the cause of considerable stress in their everyday lives. With this in mind, the Government advanced legislation at the end of last year to set the wheel in motion to help people to get on top of their debts, find a way out and to begin again to play a role in our economic recovery.

“Today, Insolvency Service Ireland (ISI) launched a public information campaign to enable people to find the best way of dealing with their debts, depending on their situation. The website went live today and offers a wealth of information about debt resolution measures for dealing with both secured and unsecured debt.

“ISI also set out guidelines on what can be determined as reasonable standards of living and reasonable living expenses which should act as a defensive shield for debtors to ensure that the financial institutions they are dealing with are not unreasonable in their demands.

“People who are in genuine distress over their financial situation should be afforded every opportunity to work through their debt with dignity. The guidelines are not designed to micro-manage people’s lifestyles or expenses by the Insolvency Service or creditors. Instead they are intended as a baseline for negotiation and discussion and are intended to be flexible and to help both sides to come to a satisfactory resolution.

“It is hoped that from the end of June, ISI will be in a position to begin accepting applications for new debt solutions. From May, it is expected that Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs), whose job it will be to act as mediators between debtors and creditors, will begin being authorised. This gives people a real timeline regarding a roadmap to dealing with their debts.

“It must be remembered that the three debt resolution measures set out by the ISI; Debt Relief Notices, Debt Settlement Arrangements or Personal Insolvency Arrangements, are voluntary arrangements undertaken by both sides. The aim is to come to an agreement that is acceptable to all.  Continuing to ignore the plight of those who are in everyday anguish over their debts is not an option. By engaging in this new process, banks will be working towards meeting Central Bank targets on mortgage arrears and those in debt will be given a second chance and hope for a happier future that is not utterly mired in debt.”