25 October 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

THE FIRST Insolvency Court to be held in Ireland under a new legislation designed to deal with people with debt problems was held in Monaghan Courthouse on Monday last.

Presided over by Judge William Lyster, one of six specialist judges of the Circuit Court who have been appointed to hear insolvency cases under the provisions of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012, the short hearing dealt with one case, that of a Donegal man whose debts were given as being in excess of €110,000 against assets of less that €6,000 and a disposable monthly income of about €500, according to the figures shown to the court.

In what is understood to be the first ever debt settlement protection certificate issued, the individual concerned was granted protection from his creditors for 70 days.

The man in question was advised by the advocacy group New Beginning, and the 10-week protection period is designed to give him time to reach a settlement with his creditors.

It was noted by Judge Lyster at the outset of the hearing (held in what is normally the Family Law chamber in Monaghan Courthouse) that this was the first ever sitting of the Insolvency Court, and he took the opportunity to thank all the support staff in the Courts Service for their hard work and assistance in facilitating the new court.

Meanwhile, Monaghan-based barrister Vincent P Martin, one of the founders of New Beginnings, is reported to have described the case as a “milestone” that would give ordinary people a chance to rid themselves of debt.

He said many of the country’s former wealthy people had secured financial resolutions for themselves, and that this new system would allow “the ordinary people of Ireland” to also reclaim their futures.

The new debt-settlement arrangement allows a person’s creditors, if 65% of them approve, to have monies are paid out to them over five years, after which the debtor is fully discharged from their debts.

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