06/01/2015 Irish Independent

More Irish are seeking insolvency arrangements in the UK than in Ireland, it has been claimed.

Irish insolvency firm AJ Debt Solutions, which is also involved in the UK insolvency process, said it has processed close to 100 so-called Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVA) in the UK for Irish citizens in the last 18 months. That compares with 59 Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) carried out by the company here.

“We have processed over 100 cases in the last 18 months. In the last two weeks alone, we have had 10,” said Damian Heslin, of AJ Debt Solutions.

“About €1.4m of Irish debt is being resolved through the UK IVA system every week, simply because it is a far less complex and drawn-out process compared to the Irish DSA.”

In October it was announced that fees for applying for state-approved insolvency deals here were to be scrapped in a bid to kick-start the new process.

Lack of awareness of the range of solutions available has been attributed as one of the main reasons why people were not availing of the insolvency solutions.

AJ Debt Solutions said that official figures from the Insolvency Service of Ireland show that since the options became available in early 2013, 1,152 applications have been received but only 311 have been approved to date.

In relations to DSAs, which are most similar to IVAs, only 220 applications have been received and just 59 have been approved.

“The Irish system requires considerable improvement if it is to serve as a viable alternative to bankruptcy,” Mr Heslin added. “It is inappropriate for us as a country to be exporting our debt resolution issues.”

Irish Independent