The Bill will provide for a new framework for settlement of debt and for personal insolvency. The proposed reform will consist of the following main elements:
- a revised judicial process (bankruptcy) to provide for a 3 year period for automatic discharge from bankruptcy from the current 12 years (or potential discharged after 5 years on application to the Court and subject to conditions – full realisation of assets, payment of fees and expenses and preferential debts).
- the introduction of a new non-judicial debt settlement process for unsecured debt amounting only to unsecured debt over €20,000, (Debt Settlement Arrangement).
- the introduction of a new non-judicial debt settlement process for both secured and unsecured debt amounting to over €20,000, (Personal Insolvency Arrangement) (secured debt will primarily relate to property debt, be it residential, commercial or investment).
- the introduction of a new debt forgiveness process (Debt Relief Certificates) for low level indebtedness where the debtor has effectively no income and no assets and has unsecured debts amounting to up to €20,000
- the establishment of an Insolvency Service to operate the new arrangements.