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StepChange Debt Charity to launch Irish service PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 September 2015

StepChange Debt Charity announced today that on 16th November, 2015 it will launch a telephone based service to provide free and independent advice for people in the Republic of Ireland who are struggling with multiple secured and unsecured debt problems.

The announcement follows today’s signing of a funding agreement between StepChange Debt Charity and five major banks: Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank.
Background to the agreement
In 2013, at the request of the Central Bank of Ireland, StepChange Debt charity operated the Pilot of the Multiple-Debt Framework. The pilot established that “there is merit in an alternative proposition for indebted customers who either do not want to pursue a formal insolvency arrangement or who may be ineligible for any such arrangement other than bankruptcy”. A survey of clients who took part in the pilot found that 75% had benefitted from participating.
Since the pilot, the charity has been working with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) on the provision of a free service and building on the learnings from the pilot. Those discussions have been successfully concluded with the signing of the funding agreement.
About the service

StepChange Debt Charity Ireland will provide advice on a range of solutions to help people deal with their whole debt problem, including informal repayment plans, mortgage restructuring and insolvency.
The current agreement provides funding for StepChange Debt Charity to offer debt advice to over 10,000 people over a three year period. The agreement is subject to review, based on levels of demand.
Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of StepChange Debt Charity, said: “We know the impact that struggling with debt can have on family life and on a person’s physical and mental health, and we know the difference that free and independent debt advice can make.
“We exist to provide free and independent advice to people struggling with debt and we are proud to have been chosen to provide a service to people in the Republic of Ireland.”

(Source - StepChange Debt Charity Press Release)

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