First Debt Settlement Certificates Granted to Brother and Sister
Dublin’s first protection certificates for debt settlement agreements were issued today by the Circuit Court.
Judge Susan Ryan awarded the certificates to a brother and sister, both with separate addresses in Churchtown, Dublin. None of the siblings were present in court.
Their Personal Insolvency Practitioner (Pip) Tom Murray, of Friel Stafford in Dublin, was in attendance as were representatives of the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI).
A debt settlement agreement is one of three new debt settlement mechanisms introduced under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012. It is designed for people who have no prospect of repaying their debts in the next five years and applies only to unsecured debts, with no limit on numbers.
Figures presented in the courtroom revealed that the brother had an income of just over € 4,800 per month and expenses of almost € 5,000. He also had eligible liabilities of over € 284,000 and assets of € 232,000, representing half the value of his house.
His sister had income of almost € 5,500 per month and expenses of almost € 5,700 with eligible liabilities totaling over € 260,000 and assets exceeding € 148,000. This was half of a 40% title to the family home that she held with her husband, the court said. She also had a dependent child.
The brother and sister had sworn their statutory declarations of their debts and income on October 25, filed an application with the ISI on October 29. They were approved to go ahead for certificates of protection on November 8.
In both cases, Justice Ryan stated that she had reviewed the applications and supporting documents and, based on the documents provided, was satisfied that the applicants were qualified to seek arrangements under the Act. She also said “from any reading of the numbers” the man appeared to be insolvent.
The judge raised a number of technical issues with Mr. Murray and with ISI Deputy Senior Officer Patricia O’Moore, including a “comment” in the documentation that she said did not help her. She said she had the Pip statement and the ISI certificate and didn’t need to “look behind these”.
Judge Ryan said she was making her remarks to help the nomination process going forward. Debt settlement was introduced to help people in very difficult situations.
“We’re really not here to create obstacles; we are here to help people, ”she said. “I am happy to place the orders. “
The sibling will now have court protection for 70 days, giving them time to reach a settlement agreement with their creditors. Their names will be entered in the public register of protection certificates maintained by the ISI.
Siblings’ arrangements must be approved by 65% of their creditors. If accepted, the sums will be paid to creditors over a period of five years after which the siblings will be released from their debts.
The country’s first debt settlement deal was awarded to a Donegal man at Monaghan Circuit Court last month.
There have not yet been any court requests for advice on debt relief or personal insolvency arrangements. The first is for people with unsecured debt of up to $ 20,000 and the second for people with both secured and unsecured debt.