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HomeAbout usPress releasesStepChange Debt Charity Ireland to launch in November

StepChange Debt Charity Ireland to launch in November

25 September 2015

StepChange Debt Charity announced today that on November 16th, 2015 it will open a telephone-based service to provide free and independent advice for people in Ireland who are struggling with multiple secured and unsecured debt problems.

The announcement follows today’s signing of an agreement between StepChange Debt Charity and five major banks who will provide funding for the service: Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank.

About the service

The service will be open to anyone in Ireland who is struggling with debt problems. StepChange Debt Charity Ireland will provide advice on a range of solutions to help people deal with their whole debt problem, including informal repayment plans, mortgage restructuring and insolvency.

The current agreement provides funding for StepChange Debt Charity to offer debt advice to more than 10,000 people over a three year period. The agreement is subject to review, based on levels of demand.

Multi-debt pilot

In 2013, at the request of the Central Bank of Ireland, StepChange Debt Charity operated the Pilot of the Multiple-Debt Framework. The pilot established that “there is merit in an alternative proposition for indebted customers who either do not want to pursue a formal insolvency arrangement or who may be ineligible for any such arrangement other than bankruptcy”. A survey of pilot clients found that 75% said that they had benefitted from participating.

Since the pilot, the charity has been working with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) on the provision of a free service and building on the learnings from the pilot. Those discussions have been successfully concluded with the signing of the funding agreement.

StepChange Debt Charity

For over 20 years, StepChange Debt Charity has pioneered the process of tackling complex and multiple debt problems over the phone and online. In 2014, the charity was contacted by nearly 600,000 people in the UK.

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “We understand the challenging financial circumstances in which many people in Ireland find themselves, even as the economy starts to get stronger. Trying to keep people in their homes and finding sustainable long-term solutions to their debt problems will be at the heart of what we do.

“Through our extensive experience and research, we know the impact that struggling with debt can have on family life, and on individuals’ physical and mental health and we know the difference that free and independent debt advice can make. Our service will be available to anyone who needs advice and support to resolve their debt problems.”

StepChange Debt Charity Ireland news contacts

Journalists are welcome to contact the media team on:

0044 207 391 4598

Foundation for Credit Counselling (trading as StepChange Debt Charity) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (Company No: 2757055) and a charity registered in Ireland (Registered Charity No: 20104887). Registered office: Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG, United Kingdom.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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StepChange Debt Charity 2018