On Thursday 19th April 2012 I attended the FLAC conference on drafting Personal Insolvency Legislation. There were numerous international speakers discussing international best practice in the area of personal insolvency legislation. Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, spoke at the start of the conference and explained how the Cabinet have two priorities, debt and unemployment. Minister Burton was aware that the main way the government could deal with this was to introduce new progressive insolvency legislation. One of the most impressive speakers, Professor Jason Kilborn of the John Marshall Law School who is preparing a report for the World bank entitled “Report of the Treatment of the Insolvency of Natural Persons” provided a thought provoking and persuasive argument on why debt forgiveness will assist economic activity and help society in general.
Professor Kilborn commented on the draft heads of terms for the proposed Personal Insolvency legislation and basically stated that although it is an improvement to reduce the bankruptcy term from 12 years to 3 years, he believed that the proposed Debt Settlement Agreement and the Personal Insolvency Agreement which provide an effective veto to the bank are not going to be used in practice. There is no doubt that Minister Burton would have been impressed by Professor Kilborn’s presentation and would report this information to her cabinet members.
Professor Kilborn’s PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded here:
Professor Kilborn was on Today with Pat Kenny and here is the link to his: