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What Is An Insolvency Service Of Ireland Search? – An Ellis & Ellis Explainer

What is the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI)?

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) is an independent statutory body established on 1 March 2013 under the provisions of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012. It is responsible for administering and supervising the operation of the various personal insolvency solutions as prescribed in the said act. The objective of which is ‘…to restore insolvent persons to solvency….’.

What registers do the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) maintain?

If successful in reaching an agreement with their creditors, the personal details and type of debt solution debtors have agreed are recorded in relevant registers held by the ISI. The ISI maintains the following 4 registers: –

Register of Protective Certificates (PC) – This register records debtors provided with 70 days (with a potential for an additional 40 days or more) of protection from their creditors, allowing time for them or their advisors to negotiate a debt solution with creditors.

Register of Debt Relief Notices (DRN) – This is a register of debt solutions for those owing under €35K of unsecured debts, with low earnings and/ or assets.

Register of Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSA) – This register records debtors who have entered into a DSA, for unsecured debts greater than 35K.

Register of Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIA) –This register records debtors who owe up to €3 million (or more) worth of unsecured and secured debt.

Why should the purchasing solicitor/ conveyancer search the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) registers when investigating title in a property/ right/ interest
purchase?

For the purchasing solicitor/ conveyancer it is important to establish if there are any pre-existing debt arrangements that could affect a sale.

Particular attention is usually given to the Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) result as it is ‘…an insolvency solution for people with unsecured and secured debts…e.g., a housing loan where a house is mortgaged to secure the loan debt…’. As such, in the event of a potential purchase, agreement from the creditor in the arrangement will be required.

With regards to the other ISI registers, while a matching entry may be informative, in of itself it should not impact on a sale as these debt solutions are against unsecured debt.

How and what to search for in the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) registers?

Seller Names: In practical terms, Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) register searches are typically conducted against the names of the individuals selling the property (or an interest/ right).

Purchasers Names: When there is an undertaking by the solicitor to protect the interest of a lender/ lending institute where there is a mortgage to be issued, searches are normally also conducted against the names of those persons purchasing the property/ right/ interest.


The rationale for doing the latter is that it forms part of a lender’s ‘review of security’ and could impact on the lenders’ willingness to provide a mortgage, etc.

Are addresses required to be provided as part of the searching instruction?

The short answer is that addresses are not required as part of the instruction.

Ultimately, the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) registers are searched jointly by first name and surname to identify those who have either been provided protection from their creditors or entered into a debt solution. As such any searches are strictly confined to the names provided in the searching instruction.

What will the Ellis & Ellis Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) register search result show me?

Specifically, as the Ellis & Ellis search will be strictly confined against the bearers of the names provided, a result will be produced for any matching names, irrespective of address. This could mean that several matches of that name, with varying addresses could be returned.

If no matching names are identified, then that too will be stated in our certified result.

Typically, any positive result will show details such as name of debtor, appropriate court and court record number, debtor’s address, year of birth, the arrangement (proposed or actual), the date of issuance, date on which the debt solution ceases to be in force, and Personal Insolvency Practitioner PIP contact details.

Note:
Results for Debt Relief Notices (DRNs), Register of Protective Certificates (PCs), Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIAs) and Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSAs) are returned if they are still current or have ended in the last 3 months.

So how will the purchasing solicitor/ conveyancer know if a ‘hit’ is the seller or
their client?

Given that the Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) result details ‘…an insolvency solution for people with unsecured and secured debts…’ a ‘hit’ for a bearer of the sellers’ name with a matching premises for sale will be immediately recognisable. Such a ‘hit’ will be material, and typically will require consent from the creditors in the agreement before a sale can be completed.

In turn, a ‘hit’ for a bearer of a sellers’ name (irrespective of address) in the Register of Protective Certificates (PCs) will require some thoughtful consideration because the debtor will have 70 days (with a potential for an additional 40 days or more) of protection from their creditors to remedy the situation, e.g., repay the debt, sell the premises and repay the debt, or enter one of the ISI debt solutions (Perhaps a PIA).

With regards to matching name results for Debt Relief Notices (DRNs) and Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSAs) being returned, these solutions are against unsecured debt and may only be indicative of a troubled personal financial history. As such, a matching name and address ‘hit’ therein may not directly impact on the sellers’ ability to sell a property/ right/ interest.

However, should a mortgage be required, and a matching name and address ‘hit’ for the purchasing parties be identified in the Debt Relief Notices (DRNs) and Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSAs) registers, an explanation from the mortgagees to a lending institution might be required. This is still pertinent if a listed mortgagee currently lives at a different address to that provided for mortgage purposes.

So how long does the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) registers entries last on
the register?

For Register of Protective Certificates (PCs) these can last for 70 days (with a potential for an additional 40 days or more by agreement) and will appear on a result if they are still current or have ended in the last 3 months

Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA) have a maximum duration of 72 months but may be extended for a further maximum of 12 months by agreement. Any failure, termination or successful completion of a PIA must be communicated to the ISI to have those details appear on the register.


Debt Relief Notices (DRNs) typically have a supervisory period of 3 years but can be exited early if the debtor pays 50% or more of the total debts, or alternatively may be extended in certain circumstances. A debtor’s name will appear on a result if their arrangement is still current or has ended in the last 3 months

Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSAs) usually applies over a period of 5 years or 6 years in some circumstances. A debtor’s name will appear on a result if their arrangement is still current or has ended in the last 3 months

Use a trusted Law Search provider

Given the material effect set out above of either not conducting a search at all, or worse, conducting an inadequate or erroneous Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) registers search; it is imperative that purchasing solicitors/ conveyancers use a trusted law search provider such as Ellis & Ellis.

With our blend of a quick and easy-to-use ordering platform at  www.ellis.ie , over 130 years of professional know-how, and a quality after-sales experience, we provide clients with a superior searching service. 

For added peace of mind Ellis & Ellis provide substantial Professional Indemnity Cover.

Why not join the 1000’s of users who trust Ellis & Ellis to deliver them a competitive
edge?

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