The Debtors’ Charter

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Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has warned banks that if they do not co-operate with the new personal insolvency scheme he would bring in new legislation to ensure their compliance. The Personal Insolvency Bill, a fundamental reform of the State’s antiquated bankruptcy laws, passed all stages in the Oireachtas last night and will be enacted before the end of the year.

He described the legislation as the “most radical reform since the foundation of the State”.

The new arrangements offer three separate court-backed mechanisms designed to help individuals with unmanageable debt – including mortgage debt – pay off a portion of their debt over a period of years, by means of an arrangement brokered by a licensed specialist known as a personal insolvency practitioner. It also provides for a new bankruptcy period of three years, rather than 12.

Among other things, it means Sean Quinn’s bankruptcy could end in 2015, rather than 2024.

So that’s nice.

Shatter warns banks to engage with debt law (Harry McGee, Irish Times)

(Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland)