COVID-19 – Information for insolvency practitioners (ROI)

Apr 02, 2020

This page was last updated on: 23 July 2020

The below commentary should not be taken as advice or as a comprehensive analysis of all aspects.  This is a rapidly evolving situation.  When reading information below, due care should be taken of the date of issue and any developments in the interim that may not be reflected in the material published.

The CCAB-I Insolvency Committee has issued Technical Alert 01 2020 for Insolvency Practitioners to allow Section 587 meetings of creditors and other meetings of members and creditors to take place during COVID-19 pandemic restriction on movement and public gatherings. CCAB-I has also made a submission to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation seeking a change in legislation in this regard.

The Government has published the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (COVID-19) Bill 2020 which seeks to address practical issues that have arisen for companies and industrial and provident societies as a result of Covid-19 (20 July 2020).

The Companies Registration Office (CRO) has confirmed that submissions are being date stamped and will be processed with expected delays.  Emails are being monitored and dealt with through cro.solvency@dbei.gov.ie   

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement has confirmed  that it will accept a Liquidator’s Report under Section 682 of the Companies Act 2014 in electronic form (either Word or PDF) by email to info@odce.ie The original signed report will need to be submitted as soon as possible thereafter and in advance of a definitive decision on a case. The ODCE has also issued a statement (4 June 2020) regarding the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the exercise of its insolvency-related functions.

We have sought clarification from the Law Society of Ireland (Law Society) as some insolvency practitioners have reported being unable to locate a solicitor for the swearing of a document, in particular a Statutory Declaration of Solvency for a members voluntary liquidation and other statutory filings to the CRO.  The Law Society has yet to confirm the ability to witness by virtual means but has put forward a ‘specific legally researched and reasoned approach to the Superior Courts Rules Committee’.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) – The ISI has issued a notice on its website noting it understands that those who are making repayments in relation to a Debt Relief Notice (DRN) may currently be experiencing difficulties in making those payments. Those who find themselves in this situation should contact the Case Management Division of the ISI by e-mail at info@isi.gov.ie  If you are experiencing difficulty with meeting agreed repayments in respect of a court approved Debt Settlement Arrangement (DSA) or Personal Insolvency Arrangement (PIA), please contact your PIP to discuss.  Where persons are currently experiencing difficulties in the payment of their bankruptcy order payments, they should contact the Bankruptcy Payment Order section of the ISI by e-mail at bankruptcy-income@isi.gov.ie

The Courts Service has published a comprehensive list of amendments to Court schedules and procedures which are available on their website.  There are ongoing updates available on the Courts Service twitter account. A further note was issued on 24 March regarding the interim process in place for the delivery of judgments.  

The High Court issued a notice around personal insolvency matters (2 April).  The Circuit Court has also issued a notice around personal insolvency applications (27 March).