Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Select Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality

Personal Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 2014: Committee Stage

2:00 pm

Photo of Frances FitzgeraldFrances Fitzgerald (Minister, Department of Justice and Equality; Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

That was what I was suggesting when I referred to the review and seeking further changes. I can envisage a situation where it might be possible to draft changes to consider a court review of the reasonableness of bank decisions on debt settlement arrangement, DSA, or personal insolvency arrangement, PIA, proposals. We will consider it further to see if we can examine the court's powers to take a stronger approach on the issue.

With regard to the ISI, I informed the Dáil during the debate on Second Stage that we saw dramatic changes towards the end of last year when we changed the fee structure. The ISI carried out an information campaign on its service and there was a large increase in the number of people using it in the last quarter of last year. Hopefully, this will continue. In establishing an insolvency service, the experience in the UK was that it took several years to be effective. We want to make it as effective as we can as quickly as possible. In the review, we have examined any actions we can take to strengthen the possibilities of this kind of debt resolution being agreed by banks.

Two weeks ago, we had a meeting with insolvency experts working directly with individuals. Some banks are engaging to a much greater extent than others. It is very uneven. Some banks are working very well with the insolvency people who are representing clients while other banks are not working as effectively as they could.

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