Debt Relief Notice
A Debt Relief Notice is for people who have less than €35,000 in qualifying debt, have very few assets and a low income. You can apply through MABS who will arrange a meeting for you with a MABS staff member called an Approved Intermediary. If your application is successful, you will be under certain obligations for 3 years. You don’t have to pay anything to your creditors if your circumstances haven’t changed, although you can if you want to. When those 3 years are over, your debts will be written off.
What do I need before I start the process?
Before you start, you will need a clear idea of how much you owe and who you owe it to. You will need this information for your application. If you need help with this, just call our Helpline at 0761 07 2000 or contact your local Service. You will also need to know what assets you actually own. In most cases, this is pretty simple –
- Do you have money in the bank?
- Do you have shares in a credit union?
- Do you own a car? How much is that car worth?
Sometimes, though, it can be a little harder to figure out –
- Were you in a relationship that broke down where you had a house or bank account together?
- Are you saving your Child Benefit for your children in an account in your name?
- Have you been left anything in a Will?
You will also need to know what income you have coming in and, if you are living with someone else, how much of the household expenses (e.g. rent, food bills, electricity and so on) you pay.
Once you have this information you are ready to start, contact the MABS Helpline on 0761 07 2000 or your local MABS office who will ask you some questions to check if you can apply for a Debt Relief Notice.
Once you have been assessed as eligible to apply for a Debt Relief Notice, you will:
- Meet with an Approved Intermediary who will outline the process to you and bring you through the Statement of Affairs to make sure that you understand what you need to send to us before your next meeting
- Complete the Statement of Affairs and send it, with all of the proofs requested (such as your bills, bank statements, credit agreements and so on) to the Approved Intermediary
- Meet with an Approved Intermediary who will go through all of your paperwork and tell you how the Debt Relief Notice will work for you, what the effects and consequences of a Debt Relief Notice are and explain any other options that might be available to you. If you are happy to go ahead with your application, you will sign a letter confirming this and the Approved Intermediary will start contacting your creditors to check the balances owed to them.
- Meet with an Approved Intermediary a final time and your application will be processed and sent to the Insolvency Service of Ireland. You will need to make an appointment to see a solicitor / Peace Commissioner / Commissioner of Oaths on the same day as there is a declaration that needs to be sworn before your application can be submitted.
Once the Insolvency Service of Ireland has approved your application, they will send it to the Circuit Court who will decide whether or not to grant your Debt Relief Notice.
- Pull together all the information you have on your debts.
- If you think you might be named on a mortgage or bank account with an ex-partner, find out if you still are or if your name was taken off.
- Keep your payslips or social welfare receipts as proof of income and have a think about how much you give towards your household expenses.