Personal Insolvency Bill, reaction from The People’s Association Watchdog

Dear Representative,

The People’s Association Watchdog welcome the initiative by the government to introduce a personal insolvency bill and we recognise that the one put forward by ministers Shatter and Noonan this week is a good starting point but is unworkable in it’s current format.

The People’s Association Watchdog are primarily focused on those people whose family homes are under threat due to their inability to meet mortgage demands and unfortunately the proposed bill does not adequately address the concerns of these home owners.  While there will be an insolvency agency to deal with other aspects of the bill, no such provision has been made for those in mortgage difficulty under the PIA.

We recognise that personal insolvency is a very difficult issue to tackle in a fair yet effective manner, however this bill as it stands is nothing more than incomplete ideas scribbled on a paper.

DRC & DSA

The requirements for an intermediary to be approved has not been set out, this is a matter of concern as it opens the door to opportunists to nominate themselves or their firm for approval without them having the requisite experience or ability to negotiate effectively for the concerned parties. We strongly urge the government to increase the staff numbers to MABS and to make use of the experience already available within MABS to act as approved intermediaries.

PIA

It is highly recommended that the personal insolvency trustee be completely independent of both the law society and the finance sector’s influence.

Ideally the personal insolvency trustee should be a member of MABS or a community welfare officer.

The personal insolvency trustee must be empowered to make a full and final decision on the validity and outcome of cases rather than allowing the creditor scope to veto any recommendations that the creditor does not agree with, as the bill is currently presented, homeowners are still at the mercy of the lending institutions with no obligations being put on those creditors to act in the best interest of the state, the person or the family.

The People’s Association Watchdog as a politically independent all Ireland voluntary organisation, are happy to give representation and support to achieving a fair and inclusive resolution to the current debt crisis, we are happy and willing to partake in any and all discussions and debates on the issues outlined in the Personal Insolvency Bill and we look forward to having our submissions and amendments considered.

Yours truly,

Patrick Grant

People’s Association Watchdog

www.paw.ie

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