Families in debt should be facilitated in remaining in their home, says report

Families in debt should be facilitated in remaining in their home, says report

A report on the Government’s Personal Insolvency Bill has said families should be facilitated as far as possible to remain in the family home in any insolvency arrangement.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has been asked to examine a way of ensuring that families are facilitated in remaining in their homes under the new Personal Insolvency Bill

It says the Justice Minister Alan Shatter should examine the possibility of including such a provision in legislation.

The report has been published by the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality following hearings it held on the bill, the heads of which were published in January.

The committee says the proposals contained little detail on how Personal Insolvency Trustees (PITs) will be regulated and paid and the kind of expertise or qualifications which would be required of them.

The report says committee members believe that MABS, if properly resourced, could take on this role. The committee also recommends the regulation of former mortgage brokers who may wish to act as PITs.

Among its other recommendations, the report says an appeals mechanism should be put in place where creditors refuse a proposed arrangement. It also calls for “a binding consequence” for a lender who acts in an unreasonable manner.

The report also says secured and unsecured debt should not be segregated when considering a Personal Insolvency Arrangement, saying credit card bills, utility bills and other debt should all be taken into account in the framing of any arrangement.

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