Fears raised over personal insolvency fees

The new Insolvency Service is being criticised for the fees charged to those struggling with debt.

Fears raised over personal insolvency fees

The new Insolvency Service is being criticised for the fees charged to those struggling with debt.

The system, which is being presented as an alternative to bankruptcy, begins accepting applications today from people who hope to have some of their debts written off.

Those who wish to avail of the new service must first request the services of a registered Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP), who may or may not charge a fee.

The Irish Mortgage Holders Association has raised a number of concerns, saying those in debt could end up paying fees costing thousands.

"The original fee structure was estimated to be about €4,500 for a personal insolvency arrangement involving a family home," said David Hall of the IMHO.

"There are no prescribed fees. This is a wholly privatised system, it's not a public system, unlike MABS [the Money Advice and Budgeting Service], and it should have been created in such a way as to allow people a choice."

Lorcan O'Connor, head of the Insolvency Service of Ireland, said fees will vary from practitioner to practitioner.

He said: "With regard to whether there's an up-front fee, I know certain PIPs have stated they won’t be charging an up-front fee, and others may well be if its a very particular, complex case.

"But invariably in complex cases there is a revenue stream or other income stream to support that up-front fee.

"It will depend on the case, but I am confident that people will be able to find a practitioner they need to avail of these arrangements."

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