FLAC: Debt law reform urgent in light of Covid-19 pandemic

FLAC: Debt law reform urgent in light of Covid-19 pandemic

There is an urgent need for debt law and credit law reform in light of the impact of Covid-19 on levels of household debt in Ireland, legal rights group FLAC has said.

FLAC today published the first in a series of four papers, to be published over the course of the summer, which will look at how cases of debt should be addressed and resolved in light of the reopening of Irish society and the economy.

The ‘Pillar to Post’ series of papers will culminate with a roundtable event with key stakeholders in autumn.

Chief executive Eilis Barry said: “The areas of debt law and credit law reform have long been key pillars of FLAC’s policy and advocacy work. We are producing this series of papers now to highlight that the very serious issue of consumer debt post-Covid is one that will have to be tackled by government.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the level of debt for some and the stress that goes with financial difficulties has been an added worry. We believe that there is now an urgent requirement for discussion and preparation for the potential fallout from Covid on vulnerable households.”

Senior policy analyst Paul Joyce added: “During Covid a series of initiatives such as the PUP payment, loan payment breaks, a ban on evictions and utility disconnections have served to alleviate the financial impact on households.

“However, continuing restrictions and a planned removal of the supports available, means the incubation of debt is coming to an end for many individuals. The reality is that we currently have no way of knowing what the true cost of Covid will be.

“Unresolved debt from the global financial crash of over a decade ago also remains a significant problem for many. FLAC believe that the services available to distressed borrowers and the mechanisms in place to resolve consumer debt require urgent review.”

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