The Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2015 (No. 32 of 2015) was signed by the President on 28 July, 2015. It amends the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, which provided a range of statutory arrangements for resolving unsustainable debts of an individual.
The 2015 Act allows a borrower to seek a review by the courts (in most cases, the Circuit Court) where creditors, such as a mortgage lender, refuse the borrower’s proposal for a Personal Insolvency Arrangement to deal with unsustainable debts that include a mortgage on the borrower’s home. In such cases, the court will consider the proposal, using a range of criteria laid down in the Act, and has power to impose the proposal on creditors if the court considers it appropriate.
The Act increases the amount of debt which may be covered by a Debt Relief Notice under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, from €20,000 to €35,000.
Further provisions of the Act clarify the detailed procedures under the 2012 Act for approval by creditors, and notification to the courts and the Insolvency Service, of debt resolution proposals.
The Act also strengthens the powers and functions of the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) regarding awareness-raising, information and communication with the public on personal insolvency and bankruptcy matters, and provides more detailed supervisory powers for the ISI as the regulatory body for Personal Insolvency Practitioners under the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.
The Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2015 commenced some provisions of the Act on 29 September 2015. The remaining provisions of the Act were commenced on 20 November 2015 by the Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Act 2015 (Commencement) (No.2) Order 2015.