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New Year Updates from the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) - By Anita C. Jordan, Communications & Corporate Affairs, Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI)

Date added: 27 Jan 2016

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI)’s Q4 2015 statistics released last week show that the number of people availing of the debt solutions available through the ISI continues to grow.  There were a number of important developments in 2015 including the increase in the Debt Relief Notice (DRN) threshold to €35,000; the extension of the waiver of all ISI fees; the removal of the so called “bank veto” and the reduction of the normal duration of bankruptcy to one year.

The ISI has been working to raise greater public awareness of the debt solutions on offer and to highlight the benefits of ISI over informal solutions.

It is important that people develop an understanding of the components that make the ISI solutions unique, namely that:

  • a PIP will deal with all of a person’s creditors to work out a long-term solution to their debt problems and while this is happening, the person will get a Protective Certificate which means that their creditors cannot contact them.  Informal solutions being offered by lenders or debt advisors that are not regulated by the ISI cannot offer this protection.
     
  • the ISI's solutions are legally binding. This means the terms cannot be changed without the agreement of both parties so there will be no surprise changes or amendments to the terms along the way.

Awareness Raising & Outreach

The rollout of Back on Track advertisements began in early January on public transport, local and regional radio, regional press, video on demand, online and on Facebook.  Since the release of the ads, visits to Back on Track have increased significantly, with 10,000 hits in 3 weeks.

Likes to the Back on Track Facebook page are also increasing week on week.

A number of amendments to the Back on Track website have gone live. These include a new Repossessions page and the additional 'Outreach' and 'What's New' sections.

The ISI continues to reach out to organisations and deliver presentations in order to build awareness of the various debt solutions.  Some organisations we recently presented to are Home School Liaison Officers (TUSLA), Irish Water and Legal Services Department, and upcoming presentations scheduled for this quarter include members of the ACCA, Communications Workers Union and Employee Assistance Officers in the Civil Service.

We know that the effects of problem debt on a person’s wellbeing and mental health can be severe and can prevent them coming forward for help.  We recently met with the coordinator of the HSE Little Things Mental Health Campaign and will be linking in with them to raise awareness of the debt solutions available. 

We have also arranged to display the Dealing with Problem Debt and PIA booklets from the Back on Track series in 80% of GP surgeries nationwide and in 55 Accord Marriage Counsellors centres around Ireland.

If APIP members would like to receive further copies of Back on Track booklets please contact outreach@isi.gov.ie or call 076 106 4649

At the time of writing, the Minister for Justice and Equality recently announced details around debtor support package.  The ISI will be writing to PIPs with further details in this regard. 

Anita Jordan

Communications & Corporate Affairs

Insolvency Service of Ireland