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Personal insolvency arrangement (PIA)

A personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) is a type of insolvency introduced in 2012 to help people who cannot repay their debts.

A PIA may be available if you meet these conditions:

  • You’re not able to pay your unsecured and secured debts
  • At least one of your debts is secured against a property in Ireland
  • You've no more than €3 million worth of secured debt (though this can be increased with your lender's permission)
  • You’ve cooperated with your mortgage lender for at least six months to try and work out a repayment arrangement
  • You’ve never had a PIA, and you’ve not had a debt relief notice (DRN) in the last three years, or had a debt settlement arrangement (DSA) or been bankrupt in the last five years
  • You live in Ireland or you’ve lived or had a business in Ireland in the last 12 months

Interested in a personal insolvency arrangement?

Call us for free debt advice on

1800 937 435

What happens in a PIA?

A PIA is a legally binding agreement, so it gives you total protection from your lenders. Lenders included in a PIA are not allowed to contact you or take any action to collect the debt, though your mortgage company could still contact you.

The payments you make during the PIA will be set at a level you can afford. You’ll always be left with enough money to keep a reasonable standard of living.

The PIA will normally last for six years, but in some cases it may be seven years. Any unsecured debt left at the end of this will be written off.

Wherever possible, your home will be protected so you don’t have to move. Your mortgage and other secured debts will be included in the PIA, so you’ll be protected from further action to collect these debts. Depending on what’s agreed with your lenders, you’ll need to keep paying part or all of your secured debts during and after the PIA.

Setting up a PIA

You can’t set up a PIA on your own. You need the help of a personal insolvency practitioner (PIP). The Insolvency Service has a list of PIPs on their website.

First, the PIP will take the details of your debts, income and assets. They’ll then apply to the court for a certificate which stops your lenders taking any further action. From this point, your lenders are not allowed to contact you.

The PIP will then draw up a PIA proposal explaining your situation and what you can realistically afford to pay. They’ll send a copy of the proposal to your lenders, and if the majority of them agree to it, the PIA will go ahead. Your details will then be added to a public register.

The PIP may charge a consultation fee for their services. Once the PIA has been set up, any further fees will be taken from the payments you’re making and there will be no extra charges.

PIPs we work with

Company Contact name(s) Website
Alan McGee Alan McGee www.alanmcgee.ie
R Hendy and Co. Kerry O'Neill & Eric Hendy www.rhendy.ie
The Debt Clinic Eugene O'Brien & Derek Scanlon www.debtclinic.ie
The Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation Stephen Curtis www.mortgageholders.ie
Grant Thornton Sara Garland  www.grantthornton.ie
Market House Insolvency Services Paul Carr www.markethouseinsolvency.com

What debts can be included in a PIA?

Most common debts are included in a PIA. Unsecured debts such as credit and store cards, overdrafts, credit union loans and business loans are all included. Mortgages and other secured loans are also included.

Some debts can be included as long as the lender doesn’t object. This includes taxes, rates and property service charges.

Some debts aren’t included in a PIA, and you’ll still have to pay these. Family maintenance payments, criminal fines and loans obtained by fraud are all excluded from a PIA.

After your PIA has been approved

Once the PIA is set up, you must stop paying anything directly to the lenders included in it. You should only make the payments to the PIA. During this period you will continue to pay your housing costs.

If your income or living costs change during the PIA, you must let your PIP know. If this affects the amount you can pay, they may change your payments. Your PIP will contact you at least once a year to check if anything has changed.

If you apply for any credit of more than €650 during your PIA, you must tell the lender you’re borrowing from about your PIA.

Your credit rating will be affected during a PIA, and you’ll probably find it difficult to borrow more money. Your credit rating will improve over time if you don’t run up more debts.

If you don’t make the agreed payments to your PIA it may be cancelled. Your lenders can then start to contact you directly again, and you’ll have to deal with them yourself.

At the end of your PIA, any unsecured remaining debt is written off and your name is removed from the public register of PIAs. Depending on what was agreed with your lenders in the PIA, you may still need to pay some or all of your secured debts.

Find out more

Call us on 1800 937 435 and our experienced debt advisors can answer your questions and help you decide if a PIA is right for you.

If you want to know more, the Insolvency Service publishes a useful guide to PIAs (PDF).

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