The role of the Personal Insolvency Practitioner is central to the practice and procedure under the Personal Insolvency Act, 2012. It is provided in Chapter 2 of the legislation that a debtor who wishes to become a party to a Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA), must submit to a Personal Insolvency Practitioner a written statement disclosing all of the debtor’s financial affairs including but not limited to his debts and other liabilities, his assets and guarantees given by the debtor in respect of the debt of any other person and such other financial information as may be prescribed.
Following receipt of the information, the Personal Insolvency Practitioner will hold a meeting with the debtor and advise him of his options for addressing his financial difficulties and provide him with information relating to the procedure and general effect including the likely costs of becoming a party to any of the arrangements under the legislation.
It is only after this meeting that a debtor who wishes to become party to an arrangement shall appoint a Personal Insolvency Practitioner. It is on this appointment that the Personal Insolvency Practitioner shall notify the Insolvency Service of Ireland of his or her appointment.
On receipt of the financial information already referred to, the Personal Insolvency Practitioner will assist the debtor in completing a prescribed financial statement.
On the completion of the prescribed financial statement, the Personal Insolvency Practitioner shall advise the debtor of his or her options for addressing his financial difficulties and his eligibility to make a proposal for a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement.
In advising the debtor, the Personal Insolvency Practitioner must have regard to the value of the debtor’s unsecured debts as compared to the value of the debtor’s secured debts and whether the debtor has communicated with his secured creditors for the purpose of seeking to renegotiate or restructure the secured debts.
On receipt of an instruction, the Personal Insolvency Practitioner shall complete a statement confirming that he/she is of the opinion that the information contained in the debtor’s prescribed financial statement is complete and accurate and that the debtor is eligible either to make a proposal for a Debt Settlement Arrangement or a Personal Insolvency Arrangement and further having considered the personal financial statement completed by the debtor that there is no prospect that the debtor will become solvent within a period of 5 years commencing on the date on which the statement is made.
A Personal Insolvency Practitioner shall not carry on practice as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner unless there is in force a policy of professional indemnity insurance which meets with such requirements as may be prescribed from time to time.