Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
96. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will outline the specific process he intends to propose for the appointment of approved intermediaries as mentioned in head 27 of the proposed draft scheme of the personal insolvency Bill 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6522/12]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The Personal Insolvency Bill, the Heads of which I published on 25 January 2012, introduces a number of new non-judicial debt settlement systems. One of those systems — the Debt Relief Certificate (DRC) — provides for the writing-off of debt where debtors with no assets and no income may be unable to meet qualifying debts totalling not more than €20,000. The purpose is to create an efficient non-judicial means, of allowing persons to resolve unmanageable unsecured debt problems.
The intention is that the approved intermediary will assist debtors at the application stages of the process and will submit the completed applications on their behalf to the Insolvency Service for decision. While it is not stated in the Heads of the Bill, organisations such as MABS could operate as the approved intermediary if they wish. In this regard I should mention that it remains to be determined, in consultation with the Department of Social Protection, how MABS might take on such a role (as recommended by the Law Reform Commission in their Report on Personal Debt).
Other organisations might also be involved in the processing of DRC applications. These would most likely be non-profit organisations as a viable business model for money advisors or personal insolvency trustees would not appear to apply in the context of a DRC.
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