Insolvency practice in Ireland has seen significant developments in recent years. In terms of personal insolvency (i.e. non-business) a brand new regime was introduced by the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, later enactments and regulations under the 2012 Act. It established three new debt resolution mechanisms to deal with personal debt:
- A Debt Relief Notice (DRN) to allow for the write-off of debt (generally unsecured and in some cases secured) up to €20,000, subject to a 3-year supervision period;
- A Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) for the agreed settlement of unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over 5 years; and
- A Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) for the agreed settlement of secured debt up to €3 million (though this cap can be increased) and unsecured debt, with no limit involved, normally over 6 years.
It also reduced the automatic discharge period for bankruptcy to 3 years from 12.
Corporate Insolvency has seen significant changes in the Companies Act 2014, which came into effect on 1st June 2015, including:
- Liquidators are now required to be qualified;
- Cannot have been officer or employee within 2 years prior to liquidation (currently 1 year under Companies Acts 1963-2013);
- Period for liquidation documents to be filed have now changed or form requirements have been altered;
- Liquidations by Court may be directed to follow creditors winding up procedure; and
- Statutory document submitted to CRO to indicate that liquidator has resigned.
Personal Insolvency Practice
- Personal Insolvency Act 2012 updated to 18th November 2014;
- Detailed Guide on Debt Settlement Arrangements;
- Detailed Guide on Personal Insolvency Arrangements;
- DSA and PIA Protocols;
- Detailed Guide to Bankruptcy;
- Guidelines to Reasonable Living Expenses;
- Prescribed Financial Statement Overview;
- Detailed content of the Prescribed Financial Statement;
- Bankruptcy Notices of Statutory Sittings;
Corporate Insolvency Practice
The Companies Act 2014 defines for the first time qualifications required of those who may act as a Liquidator. These are as follows:
- Member of Prescribed Accountancy Body;
- Practising Solicitor;
- Member of Professional Body recognised by IAASA;
- Person qualified under the laws of other EEA state; or
- Person of practical experience (note: this qualification is subject to a “sunset clause” and will not be available if application is not made for registration with the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority).
The Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants will have a separate licensing requirement for those wishing to operate as Insolvency Practitioners following the commencement of the Act (subject to a lead-in period).
Guides on Company Insolvency:
Statements on Insolvency Practice for the Republic of Ireland (Links are to the CARB website):