Shatter defends court role in personal-insolvency provisions29/06/2012 - 18:22:16
Justice Minister Alan Shatter has defended the Government's decision to give the courts a role in approving new arrangements between banks and customers who are struggling with their loans.
The personal insolvency bill, which was published today was originally intended to keep people out of court.
However, the Attorney General said that for constitutional reasons the Circuit Court would have to approve all agreements.
Minister Shatter said this requirement should not lead to undue delay or high legal fees.
"We're going to put in place very particular arrangements to ensure that debt resolution is dealt with speedily (and) that the courts are not clogged up," he said. "Work is underway in putting appropriate arrangements in place."
The Government has said the new personal insolvency and bankruptcy laws will not be in place until at least November.
The personal-insolvency provisions aim to address the mortgage arrears crisis by putting in place new arrangements between banks and their customers aimed at avoiding home repossessions.
However, Fianna Fáil's Dara Calleary said giving the Circuit Court oversight of the deals would create unnecessary delays and expense for homeowners.
He said: "I think it's going to be very intimidating for a lot of people (who) don't want to get into the courts. They want to engage with their creditors…(but) not end up in the local Circuit Court."
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