Debt forgiveness: An outline of how it would work (if I was in charge)

If I made the debt forgiveness rules… If I could make the rules surrounding debt forgiveness they would be something like this:

1. you can only seek application for debt forgiveness via the bank and not on your own. This may sound odd but doing this helps pre-qualify the case and remove moral hazard. If you go in on your own in early days then no meaningful engagement will have occurred and your credit history isn’t shot [which is a fair outcome to getting debt relief].

Banks (via the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process) are also in an idea position to know when a loan is unsustainable. This is further described in S.39 of The 2011 Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears

Where ‘unsustainable’ is defined as per the Expert Group Definition. Which is where you go 18 months into arrears or after a 5yr Deferred interest scheme doesn’t work . It is important to remember that banks are legally obliged to be in contact with borrowers and attempting to find work …

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Debt forgiveness & Writedowns, one in the same?

Below is a comment made by the Regulator at UCC while talking to a group of compliance officers.

“Reform of the bankruptcy regime could allow borrowers to earn a fresh start by discharging their debt over a reasonable period of time, Mr Elderfield said. However, he cautioned against debt forgiveness for the thousands of mortgage holders currently behind with payments on their loans.

Addressing compliance officers in Cork, he said it was understandable that some people wanted to go beyond rescheduling debt to consider some form of debt forgiveness.

“However, the cost of any support will need to be borne by the taxpayers or by the banks and therefore, in many cases, effectively the taxpayer as well, and this raises questions of fairness for taxpayers who are not in debt and, at a time of immense budgetary pressure, affordability for government finances.

“There is also the risk that any scheme would create perverse incentives and in fact make …

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