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Question

113. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to set down the number of deals concluded under the new personal insolvency regime to date; the number sought; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19373/15]

Answer

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald: As published in the Insolvency Service of Ireland's quarter 1 statistics, the ISI has received 2,013 applications since its launch on 1 March 2013. A total of 996 protective certificates have been granted and 821 arrangements have been put in place. In terms of the ISI's indirect impact it is worth remembering that prior to its establishment insolvent debtors were not obtaining informal debt agreements with creditors but the situation is rather different now. I believe the establishment of the ISI has been a significant catalyst for this change and, generally, I believe people familiar with this issue would agree with that. As the Deputy will be aware, under a major reform of the insolvency framework announced recently the courts will be given the power to approve insolvency deals rejected by banks where the proposal relates to mortgages or mortgage arrears on the borrower's home and certain criteria are satisfied.
The quarter 1 statistics of the ISI show that creditors are already voting in favour of personal insolvency arrangements in three out of four cases. I believe that by giving the courts the power to review cases in which creditors initially reject personal insolvency arrangements, including power to overturn that rejection, and where certain criteria are met, acceptance rates will increase and more debtors will avail of the debt solutions offered by the ISI. I expect that this development, along with the rest of the measures announced by Government - the Deputy will be familiar with the other initiatives - will strengthen the framework to support mortgage holders in arrears and will encourage more debtors to seek the assistance they need to get back on track financially.
There is a major public information aspect to this as well in terms of encouraging people to use the services available, including the ISI, MABS and other organisations which can give support.