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Applicants for court-approved debt deals fall

There has been a fall in the number of people applying for court-approved debt deals.

Around 1,000 people got an approved insolvency deal to keep them in their homes last year, a rise on the previous year, according to the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

There has been a fall in the numbers being declared bankrupt.

This is despite there being 28,000 in mortgage arrears for two years or more.

Head of the Insolvency Service, Lorcan O’Connor, said that there have been fluctuations in the numbers seeking and getting official debt solutions.

He insisted the overall trend was one where more people were availing of debt deals.

He said there was a one-third increase in the numbers getting a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA). This is court-approved restructuring of mortgage payments, and may include a lender writing down some of the debt.

Figures from the Insolvency Service show there were 3,500 applicants last year for the various debt deals it offers. This is down 24pc on the 2017 figure.

But there was an 18pc rise in the number of debt arrangements that ended up being put in place. Some 959 people had a PIA put in place last year, a rise of 31pc on the previous year.

There were fewer than 400 bankruptcy cases last year, a fall of 16pc on the figure for 2017. A total of 8,000 people have got debt restructuring deals since the Insolvency Service was set up in 2013. Some 2,134 of these were PIAs, with 2,323 bankruptcies.

“While there are some fluctuations within the statistics, the overall trend continues to point towards more people seeking to avail of the solutions available through the Insolvency Service that return insolvent debtors to solvency,” Mr O’Connor said.

The Insolvency Service’s website is at backontrack.ie.

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