New mortgage arrears committee must provide solutions quickly

26 February 2010

Legal rights organisation FLAC today welcomed confirmation of the formation by the government of a group to deal with the issue of indebtedness. The group includes its Senior Policy Advisor, Paul Joyce.

Mr. Joyce, a barrister, has been working on debt law reform as it affects consumers for almost a decade within FLAC. Two reports issued by the organisation, "An End Based on Means" and "To No-One's Credit?" were authored by Mr. Joyce. He has also made numerous submissions to politicians and policy makers on issues of consumer credit law and consumer debt law.

"We are proud and pleased that Paul Joyce's expertise has been recognised in the formation of this committee" commented Noeline Blackwell, FLAC Director General. "We wish the expert committee well. It is vital that it works quickly to produce solutions" she said. "The range of options open to people dealing with debt is far too narrow for the complexity and number of debts that people have today."


Editors' notes:

  1. FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) is an independent human rights organisation dedicated to the realisation of equal access to justice for all. It campaigns through advocacy, strategic litigation and authoritative analysis to contribute to the eradication of social and economic exclusion.
  2. Photograph of Paul Joyce available on request from FLAC.
  3. FLAC's reports on debt law reform "An End Based on Means" (2003) and "To No One's Credit" (2009) are available online.
  4. FLAC's submission (from April 2009) to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social and Family Affairs for its recent report on Over-indebtedness in Irish Society is available online. Other submissions around debt law reform can also be found here.
  5. The Law Reform Commission published its consultation paper on Personal Debt Management and Debt Enforcement in September (see also FLAC comment.)
  6. FLAC recommended a complete overhaul of debt enforcement procedures in Ireland and the introduction of debt settlement legislation in a major report in 2003. That was followed in July 2009 by a second in-depth report which explored the debtor's perspective on the enforcement process. The organisation called for a greater range of remedies to assist those who are over-indebted.
  7. Read FLAC's open letter to politicians calling for action on mortgage arrears from October 2009.