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Debt Resolution Pilot Scheme

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Questions\Written Answers\Debt Resolution Pilot Scheme

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Debt Resolution Pilot Scheme

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan)

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Michael Noonan

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Snippet Contents:

I propose to take Questions Nos. 206, 263, 277, 290 and 292 together.
The Deputies will be aware that the Central Bank has announced its intention to operate a pilot scheme for the restructuring of secured and unsecured distressed consumer debt across multiple lenders. The aim of the pilot framework is to achieve sustainable and fair outcomes without the need for the borrower to enter the statutory insolvency process. It is focused on enhancing cooperation between lenders of secured and unsecured debt in order to resolve distressed debt in a holistic manner at an early stage.
The Central Bank’s framework establishes a series of principles to be applied in debt restructuring solutions for borrowers. In particular it outlines a ‘Resolution Waterfall’ which sets out a series of debt affordability scenarios. Treatments will be applied to the borrower’s debts in order to establish the most appropriate and affordable modification that sets the borrower on a sustainable footing for the remaining period of the loans.
The framework will be implemented on a pilot basis by participating lenders to 750 borrowers who are experiencing significant financial difficulty repaying the mortgage on the family home and who also have other unsecured debt. The pilot scheme will run for three months from the end of June and will conclude with a thorough review of all results to evaluate the effectiveness of the framework in dealing with such cases and to determine next steps.
To be eligible for the framework, a borrower must be co-operating with their lenders, as defined in the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA). It will apply to borrowers experiencing financial difficulty but who have taken reasonable steps to maximise income and curtail expenditure. All existing protections afforded by the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code and the CCMA will continue to apply to participating borrowers. The Framework will not include borrowers with buy-to-let or business related debts.
The Central Bank has advised that it has been agreed among the lender participants to use an independent third party service provider as the most appropriate way to engage with borrowers, whose consent to participate in the pilot will be sought. Discussions are underway to determine the most appropriate provider and no decision on this matter has yet been made. However due to the short timelines involved, an important consideration in the decision making process will be the ability of the provider to provide an effective and efficient service at short notice.