The Personal Insolvency Bill 2012 was published on 29 June 2012. A scheme of the Bill was published in January 2012. The Bill is draft legislation and has not yet been passed into law. It has a number of different aspects. When passed, the legislation will introduce several non-judicial debt resolution processes, subject to relevant conditions in each case:
- a Debt Relief Notice to allow for the write-off of qualifying debt up to €20,000, subject to a three year supervision period;
- a Debt Settlement Arrangement for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt over 5 years;
- a Personal Insolvency Arrangement for the agreed settlement of secured debt up to €3 million (though this cap can be increased with the consent of all secured creditors) and unsecured debt over 6 years.
The legislation will establish a new Insolvency Service which will have a role in either certifying or determining an application for a Debt Relief Notice or certifying applications for a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement.
In relation to bankruptcy, the legislation will introduce automatic discharge from bankruptcy, subject to certain conditions, after 3 years as opposed to 12 years at present.
There is a detailed summary of the Bill on the Department of Justice and Equality website.