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  1. #1
    He3 He3 is offline

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    Oct 2008

    What Insolvency Practitioner Jim Stafford said, yesterday on RTÉ, today on

    This is to allow easy access to the remarks that have sparked a major debate today. The discussion continues on a separate thread. This thread is for reference only. The discussion thread is here Insolvent Professional people should be allowed to stay in homes in accordance with their status..

    First the transcript prepared and introduced by H.R. Haldeman -

    "I did a transcript of the relevant portion. A few um's and ah's left out, one para break added to reflect slight change of emphasis by speaker, punctuation is mine obviously. Nothing else added or taken out. The preceding question and question afterwards do not change the context, so this is fair reporting of the exchange.

    Mary Wilson (reading a listener email): What happens to my home if I enter into a PIA?

    Jim Stafford: Well, under the legislation the PIP is to try and keep the family in their family home if at all possible. The PIP will have to assess the existing mortgage on the family home, if it's a modest house, if it's a trophy house.

    In practice, the PIP will also have to assess the type of house that might be needed for a professional person such as a solicitor, accountant or a hospital consultant as opposed to a house that's needed by someone who is in the PAYE sector for example, so that, as a PIP, I would be making a very strong case, for example, that a solicitor should have a bigger house that accords with his professional status in society so that his neighbours and clients can see that, yes, this person is a good solicitor who's is living in a good house etc. etc.

    MW: Really?

    JS: Absolutely. The same as for hospital consultants, people like that

    MW: Despite the fact that he's insolvent?

    JS: Despite the fact that he's insolvent, because remember, if we want the solicitor to continue to earn money or the accountant or the hospital consultant it's important that he has his tools of trade for example

    MW: Well, he may need an office, but he hardly needs a palatial house in South County Dublin

    JS: Believe me, the clients who we have on our books are insisting they continue to stay in their palatial houses, now, it's possible that some of them might have to down trade, but that all goes into the pot and at the end of the day the banks, the creditors have to agree to that process.


    Next Mr Stafford's post on this morning -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Stafford
    As it is impossible to talk about all of the complexities of personal bankruptcy in a 10 minute radio interview it is inevitable that mis-understandings can arise, and that statements can be taken out of context.

    I believe it is clear to many people that the vast majority of people are passionate about retaining their family home: whether it is a trophy house or a one bedroom apartment. For some people, the word "passion" would not be an adequate description of their feelings! The first comment that many insolvent debtors make to us when they meet with us initially is that "we must keep the family home."
    The depth of the feeling behind that comment is generally the same whether it is expressed by a person who lives in a "trophy" house or a person who lives in a one bedroom apartment.

    The commercial reality is that mortgage affordability is dependent on income, and so it follows that the more income you earn, the bigger mortgage you can afford, and therefore a bigger house.

    Personal Insolvency Practitioners are obliged to comply with the Personal Insolvency Act 2012. Section 104 of the Act states that a PIP shall "insofar as reasonably practicable" formulate a proposal that does not require the debtor to vacate his family home. In formulating such a proposal, the PIP shall consider factors such as the cost of the house, the debtors income etc.

    Whether a debtor gets to retain his family home is wholly dependent on the creditors. The same rules apply to trophy houses as thet do to one bedroom apartments.

    The commercial reality is that some debtors will generate enough income to retain their home, whether it is a trophy home or a one bedroom apartment. The law is the same for all types of houses.

    In some cases, the banks will obtain a better recovery of their monies if they allow a debtor to retain their home, whether it is trophy home or a one bedroom apartment. However, in other cases it will simply not be possible for some people to retain their homes, trophy or not.

    In conclusion, the law treats all insolvent debtors equally.
    This evening Mr Stafford posted this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Stafford
    I would like to acknowledge and sincerely apologise for the hurt and distress that my comments to RTE have undoubtedly caused.

    Simply it was not my intention to offend.

    In particular, it was not my intention to create a distinction between so called professional classes and PAYE workers nor appear to further the causes of a particular debtor type.

    I believe that every person has a passionate concern to retain their family home.

    I fully appreciate the distress that financial difficulties cause any one, no matter what their financial circumstances may be.

    I fully and unreservedly apologise for my comments.

    Jim Stafford
    Last edited by He3; 10th September 2013 at 08:59 PM.
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  2. #2
    He3 He3 is offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Mr Stafford has issued a further response this evening. It has been added to the OP.
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