Blog – McCarthy & Associates – Galway Talks, 03/12/2015

Issue: Recent developments could force Banks to be more accommodating to borrowers in arrears.
Comment: One of the most complex pieces of legislation ever introduced in this country related to Personal Insolvency. The most contentious aspect of this Act is the condition relating to a Personal Insolvency Arrangement whereby both borrower and lender must be agreement before matters can proceed.
I have been critical of this for sometime, as history has shown us that banks do not voluntarily take such steps without being forced to do so. Finally, the legislation has been changed, whereby if a bank refuses to engage in this process, an appeal can be made to the courts and they can be forced to do so.
A further threat to banks, who do not appropriately engage with a distressed borrower, is the likely reduction in the Bankruptcy period to 1 year (as in the UK). In bankruptcy a bank will loose far more than if they work with the borrower.
Let’s hope these 2 developments will see fewer repossessions in 2016.
Question: Can you give me some details on the Health Insurance Authority website?
Comment: One of the most complex and expensive items for a lot of people is Health Insurance, which is understandable considering the myriad of different plans on offer. There is a fear factor of changing from an existing provider, as a lot of people feel that their level of cover may diminish as a result.
Statistics show that mobility within the Health Insurance sector is quite low. However, the Health Insurance Authority website hia.ie has a very helpful comparative tool which is designed to help consumers compare plans and costs. Recently, I spoke to a client who managed to save €1,200 p.a. (keeping the same level of cover) by spending a few hours reviewing the various plans on the HIA website.
It is worthwhile for consumers to take the time to review their plan, as the savings can be substantial.