Ross Maguire: April has been an important month for the Personal Insolvency regime. In the first of the new Personal Insolvency appeals cases to come before the High Court, Ms Justice Baker approved an application which sought to overturn the rejection of a PIA proposal by Pepper as agent for a US fund.
The High Court held that the Personal Insolvency regime was a “unique” piece of legislation designed by the Oireachtas to limit the veto of creditors. The whole intent of the new law is to keep a family in their home by making the mortgage sustainable.
In this particular deal a borrower owed more than €2.8 million on his home and other investment properties. The proposal involved a write off of almost €1.4 million and meant the family of 5 held on to their home. The fund objected to the proposal but the borrower appealed. The High Court upheld the appeal and the family are now paying a secure and affordable mortgage.
This High Court decision will give guidance to over 50 cases now before the Circuit Court where homeowners will be secured in their homes with sustainable and affordable mortgages.
The general effect of this change in the law means that anybody who can afford a mortgage based on the current value of the home should be in a position to have their loan restructured on a long term sustainable basis. Deals that we could not have done last year are now being done and that is to everybody’s advantage.
Finally, the ISI released its quarter 1 2016 figures last week and as expected there is a surge in applications for Personal Insolvency. This is a very welcome fact and marks the beginning of a sustained process to deal with mortgage debt once and for all. At this stage over 1000 PIA’s are complete and we expect thousands more over the coming months.