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Page 1

The Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory
body established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975.
The Commission’s principal role is to keep the law under
review and to make proposals for reform, in particular by
recommending the enactment of legislation to clarify and
modernise the law.

This role is carried out primarily under a Programme of
Law Reform. The Commission’s Third Programme of Law
Reform 2008-2014 was prepared and approved under the
1975 Act following broad consultation and discussion. The
Commission also works on specific matters referred to it
by the Attorney General under the 1975 Act. Since 2006,
the Commission’s role also includes two other areas of
activity, Statute Law Restatement and the Legislation
Directory. Statute Law Restatement involves incorporating
all amendments to an Act into a single text, making
legislation more accessible. The Legislation Directory
(previously called the Chronological Tables of the Statutes)
is a searchable guide of legislative changes.

+353 1 6377600 [email protected] www.lawreform.ie35-39 Shelbourne Road Dublin 4 Ireland
ADDReSS TeLePhone FAx emAIL WebSITe

+353 1 6377601

The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975

€15

InTeRIm RePoRT

(LRC 96-2010)

Personal debt
management
and debt
enforcement


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www.lawreform.ie

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Page 61

45

cooperating to resolve individual cases of debt problems.
42

The Protocol is

founded on a partnership approach and the cooperation of IBF Creditors and

MABS Advisors to formulate “mutually-acceptable, affordable and sustainable”

repayment plans for debtors in difficulty.
43

The principle of good faith full

disclosure and the concept of debt settlement or partial debt discharge are

fundamental to the Protocol.
44

The Commission discussed the Protocol in detail

in the Consultation Paper.
45



2.37 Certain issues relating to the Protocol and the means by which it

can produce short-term solutions to problems of personal indebtedness were

discussed by certain members of the Working Group (representatives of the IBF

and the MABS) and are now presented by the Commission. These issues

include the potential extension of the Protocol to lenders other than those

currently subscribing to it; the review of the operation of the Protocol during its

first months; and the potential development of a Common Financial Statement

by debtor and creditor representatives to facilitate the agreement of sustainable

and fair voluntary debt repayment plans.

(a) Extending the application of the IBF-MABS Operational Protocol

2.38 First, the possibility of extending the Irish Banking Federation-

MABS Operational Protocol to creditors and creditor representatives other than

members of the Federation has been discussed. Further to the review of the

Protocol between MABS and IBF members and the refinements identified and

detailed below,46 MABS wishes to extend the principles and processes

contained in the Protocol to other major creditor groups and as such, in addition

to ongoing negotiation with the ILCU and others, now hopes to agree protocols

with other major utility providers.

2.39 In addition, representatives of the Commission have met with the

Commission for Energy Regulation with the aim of discussing the possibility of

extending the Protocol to energy providing companies.

2.40 The Commission welcomes the extension of the operation of the

IBF-MABS Operational Protocol to a wider range of creditors. In its


42

IBF-MABS Operational Protocol: Working Together to Manage Debt (2009),

available at: http://www.ibf.ie/pdfs/IBF-MABS-Protocol-June09.pdf (accessed 6

May 2010).

43
Paragraph 1(b) of the Protocol.

44
Paragraph 1(e) of the Protocol.

45
Consultation Paper on Personal Debt Management and Debt Enforcement (LRC

CP 56-2009) at paragraphs 3.182 to 3.188.

46
See paragraphs 2.41 to 2.44 below.

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46

Consultation Paper, the Commission presented this Protocol as a voluntary

substitute for the lack of an effective personal insolvency system under Irish

law. The Commission wishes to reiterate its support for the important role that

the Protocol plays in providing a non-legal framework for the development of

mutually-acceptable, affordable and sustainable repayment plans, pending the

Commission‟s proposed introduction of a formal statutory non-judicial debt

settlement system.47 The Commission believes that the extension of the

operation of the Protocol to a wider range of creditors will be an important step

towards ensuring that an individual‟s debt difficulties can be addressed in a

standardised, mutually-satisfactory and holistic manner. The extension of the

Protocol can therefore provide immediate benefits to both creditors and debtors.

As the Protocol may also increase the chances of avoiding legal proceedings in

a larger number of cases of debt disputes, the extension of the Protocol should

also be of benefit to the State as it reduces the resources expended on such

court proceedings.

(b) Review of the operation of the IBF -MABS Operationa l Protocol

2.41 The MABS/IBF Protocol has been operational for over six months

(as of May 2010) and is overseen by a Monitoring Group comprising MABS and

members of relevant IBF institutions. In addition to the meetings of the

Monitoring Group, MABS and individual institutions meet bilaterally to review

progress and address any operational issues emerging. More recently, MABS

has begun to provide awareness sessions for frontline staff in participating

institutions.

2.42 During the first six months or so of operations, the Protocol has

delivered generally positive results in terms of agreed repayment arrangements

between IBF creditors and MABS clients – confirmed by ongoing monitoring

reports. Furthermore, considerable progress has been made on a number of

issues as follows:

Under the Protocol Monitoring Group there is now a structured forum

for addressing issues emerging and this is proving to be an effective

mechanism of harmonising good practices across participating

institutions.

There is increased awareness of MABS and its approach to money

advice within IBF member institutions; MABS has a greater

understanding of operations within individual institutions.


47

See Consultation Paper on Personal Debt Management and Debt Enforcement

(LRC CP 56-2009) at paragraphs 5.66 to 5.179.

Page 122

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Page 123

The Law Reform Commission is an independent statutory
body established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975.
The Commission’s principal role is to keep the law under
review and to make proposals for reform, in particular by
recommending the enactment of legislation to clarify and
modernise the law.

This role is carried out primarily under a Programme of
Law Reform. The Commission’s Third Programme of Law
Reform 2008-2014 was prepared and approved under the
1975 Act following broad consultation and discussion. The
Commission also works on specific matters referred to it
by the Attorney General under the 1975 Act. Since 2006,
the Commission’s role also includes two other areas of
activity, Statute Law Restatement and the Legislation
Directory. Statute Law Restatement involves incorporating
all amendments to an Act into a single text, making
legislation more accessible. The Legislation Directory
(previously called the Chronological Tables of the Statutes)
is a searchable guide of legislative changes.

+353 1 6377600 [email protected] www.lawreform.ie35-39 Shelbourne Road Dublin 4 Ireland
ADDReSS TeLePhone FAx emAIL WebSITe

+353 1 6377601

The Law Reform Commission is a statutory body established by the Law Reform Commission Act 1975

€15

InTeRIm RePoRT

(LRC 96-2010)

Personal debt
management
and debt
enforcement


P

e
r

s
o

n
a

l
d

e
b

t m
a

n
a

g
e

m
e

n
t a

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b
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fo

r
c

e
m

e
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t
In

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R

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P

o
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T
L

R
C

96-2010

112270 - Interim report personal debt 1 13/05/2010 13:07

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