Personal Insolvency Arrangement

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A Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) is Ireland's debt management solution for individuals who want to avoid outright bankruptcy and declare insolvency.[1] The agreement is one of the three alternatives authorized under Ireland's Personal Insolvency Act 2012; Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) and Debt Relief Notices (DRN) make the other two arrangements. PIA mandates a legal agreement between a debtor and their creditors, which is mediated and administered by a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP). A PIA usually lasts for a term of six years and must include both unsecured debt and secured debts.

Eligibility[edit]

Eligibility criteria for a debtor include:[2]

  • The debtor is insolvent, that is they cannot pay debts in full when they are due.
  • The debtor owes a debt to at least one secured creditor holding security over Irish property or assets.
  • The debtor has secured debts less than €3 million (unless creditors agree to upper limit)
  • The debtor has co-operated with their secured creditor under a mortgage arrears process for 6 months.
  • The debtor must live in the Republic of Ireland, or ordinarily resided or had a place of business within Ireland.
  • The debtor provides a Prescribed Financial Statement and a PIP has examined the debtors financial situation and confirms eligibility.

Furthermore, a debtor must not have any agreements mandated under the instant Act, bankrupt nor accumulated 25% or more of their total debt during the previous 6 months

Role of Personal Insolvency Practitioners[3][edit]

Personal Insolvency Act 2012 envisages that Personal Insolvency Arrangements can only be applied for through an approved third party termed as Personal Insolvency Practitioners. The practitioners are required to be authorised by the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) and include Solicitors Barristers, Qualified accountants, qualified financial advisers etc. Till 31 October 2013, it was announced that there are a total of 72 registered Personal Insolvency Practitioners.[4]

Debts covered under the agreement[5][edit]

The type of debts that can be included in a PIA are split into three types; Included, Excludable and Excluded.[6]

  • Included Debts
  • Housing loans on the principal private residence
  • Loans on investment property
  • Mortgages/loans on buy-to-let properties
  • Personal guarantees
  • Personal loans
  • Credit Union loans
  • Business/commercial loans
  • Credit card balances
  • Store cards balances
  • Overdrafts
  • Excludable debt (debts that can only be included with creditor consent)
  • Any taxes, duties, or levies owed or require payment to the State
  • Local government charges
  • Local authority rates
  • Anything owed under the Nursing Home Support Scheme
  • Annual service charges payable to apartment and housing estate management companies
  • Any debts incurred under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005
  • Excluded Debts (That cannot be included)
  • Court ordered family maintenance payments
  • Court fines arising from criminal offenses
  • Debts arising from personal injury or wrongful death court-awarded claims
  • Debts incurred from fraudulent loans

Agreement Processes Authorized Under The Act[7][edit]

Debtor insolvency declaration[edit]

Initially, the debtor is required to approach a PIP to provide a full disclosure of his or her financial situation. After appraisal, the PIP suggests best possible agreement. If recommended, the debtor can proceed with the PIA application and appoint the PIP[8] to act on their behalf. A Prescribed Financial Statement is then prepared for the debtor. which details key information about a debtor’s finances and clearly shows their insolvent status. It must be fully supported by appropriate financial documentation, such as pay slips, bank statements etc. A statutory declaration in the presence of witnesses to confirm the Prescribed Financial Statement is true and accurate, plus completes and signs the additional documents needed to accompany the Statement to apply for a Protective Certificate. The full application is sent to the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI).

Issuance of Protective Certificate[edit]

A court is authorized to issue a Protective Certificate to the debtor,[9] which provides PIP and the debtor 70 days protection against creditor for preparation of a PIA proposal.

Preparation of PIA proposal[edit]

After issuance of Protective Certificate, PIP has been mandated to prepare a draft PIA.[10] During the process, the market value of the secured assets can either be agreed between the debtor, creditor and PIP or services of independent valuer can be solicited.

Creditors' meeting and approval of PIA[edit]

Sequel to debtor’s agreement on the PIA proposal, the PIP is required to call a creditors' meeting in which through voting, creditors representing at least 65% of the total debts – 50% of the unsecured and 50% of the secured – must agree to the proposal. After approval in the vote, the documents are required to be forwarded to ISI, which will notify the Circuit Court. Thus final approval sits with the court, and any creditor's objection will be considered by them. The law requires that after approval the debtor’s name, address details, birth year and PIA start date o be made available on the ISI website.

Execution of PIA[edit]

After formal approval by the courts and notification with ISI, debtors are required to set up payments to the PIP, which in turn distribute the payments to creditors as per agreements. A PIA has a lifespan of six years.

Completion[edit]

If a debtor completes all of their obligations under the PIA, the agreement is considered complete. At completion, PIP through creditors finalize the treatment of the remaining balances debt; unsecured debt balances will be written off, while secured debt balances are discharged as per the PIA agreement. The PIP coordinates the removal of debtor’s information from the Register of Personal Insolvency Arrangements within three months, making the debtor solvent.

Failure[edit]

A PIA will be deemed to have failed if creditors do not agree to the PIA or if the debtor fails to maintain his or her duties and obligations. This can be avoided if a debtor can anticipate a potential problem keeping up with payments, because their PIP may be able to arrange a variation with creditors to ensure a way can be found to continue with the PIA and prevent it from failing.[11]

Insolvency agreements in the UK[edit]

In the UK, a similar arrangement exists under the name of individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). IVA has been mandated under the Insolvency Act 1986.[12][13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Personal Insolvency Arrangements". Government of Ireland. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Eligibility criteria for a Personal Insolvency Arrangement". Irish Statue Book, Office of AG, Government of Ireland. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "A PER SONAL INSOLVENCY PRA CTITIONER" (PDF). INSOLVENCY SE RVICE OF IRELAND. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Register of Personal Insolvency Practitioners". Insolvency Service of Ireland. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Debt solutions > PIA". Insolvency Service of Ireland. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  6. ^ "Hundreds of new debt arrangements 'in the pipeline', Insolvency Service of Ireland says". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Scheme of Personal Insolvency Bill" (PDF). Insolvency Service of Ireland. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Personal Insolvency Arrangements". Personal Insolvency. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "What is a Protective Certificate?". ISI Official Website. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Insolvency Process". Personal-Insolvency-Arrangement.ie. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "What happens when a PIA fails?". ISI website. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Options for paying off your debts". UK Government Government Digital Service. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  13. ^ Liquidating a company, March 2014, p. Homepage, retrieved 23 March 2014 
  14. ^ Personal Insolvency Agreement Homepage

External links[edit]