A company offering debt solution services under the personal insolvency legislation has said it is receiving 10 calls a day from people seeking advice on entering the scheme.
Grant Thornton Debt Solutions said it had entered its first 20 applications for protective certificates (PC) to the Insolvency Service of Ireland.
It said it had other cases in the pipeline and revealed that of the 20 applications already made — and which have yet to be approved — 85% related to families with children.
Of the 20 cases, 55% are personal insolvency arrangements and 45% are debt settlement arrangements. A quarter of the cases agreed voluntary surrender of their property as part of a personal insolvency arrangement.
If approved for a PC it would mean the applicants paying money into a pot that would be dispersed among the creditors for periods of five or six years.
Since it opened last year GT Debt Solutions has received more than 1,000 enquiries in what is an increasingly competitive market.
Stephen Tennant, partner at GT Debt Solutions, said the 20 cases involved varying levels of debt — in some cases about €50,000, in other cases hundreds of thousands of euro — while a varying amount of properties were also involved.
He said all the cases involved “significant debt problems” that would now hopefully be resolved, meaning “a weight off their shoulders”.
He said anyone enquiring about entering the new system first needed to have the nature of their case checked to see if was suitable, adding that in many cases other options such as bankruptcy may have to be considered.
The individuals involved in the 20 cases come from a cross-section of occupations including public servants, office workers, sales assistants and tradesmen.
Recent research conducted by GT Debt Solutions found that 45% of people claim to have some debt, while more than 10% say they are in default or have debts which are out of control.
On Monday last a civil servant from Co Donegal became the first person in the country to have a debt settlement arrangement agreed by his creditors under the new arrangements.
He had unsecured debts of more than €100,000 after the collapse of his business and the extent of the debt write-off was not disclosed.
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