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Debt Settlement Arrangements - The PIA Alternative

Because of the stringent criteria of PIAs, many people wonder whether another debt solutions would be better, such as a Debt Settlement Agreement (DSA). Like PIAs, DSAs are government-approved and designed to formally help you tackle your debt burden in a structured consistent way while protecting you from action being taken against you by your creditors. However, the similarities don’t stop there and sometimes it can be quite confusing trying to work out whether you need a PIA or a DSA.

These are a few more of the similarities between them:

  • You must have one or more creditors
  • You must not have built up 25% or more of your total debt in the previous 6 months
  • You must be employed or self-employed and have some surplus income every month before debt payments
  • You must not currently be undertaking a Debt Relief Notice (DRN) or have done so within the last three years
  • You must not have had a Protective Certificate issued in the past year.
  • You must not have been personally insolvent, for example by bankruptcy, DSA or PIA, currently or within the last five years
  • A Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) must make the application on your behalf and administer the payment plan
  • Interest, penalties and charges are frozen so your debts don’t increase
  • You can keep your home
  • At the end of the agreement terms of PIAs and DSAs the remaining balance of unsecured debt is written off. The secured debt is written off to the extent laid down in your agreement
  • Both can be used if your employment contract forbids bankruptcy, helping to preserve your job and income. You can still hold public office, keep your job or be a company director
  • They both negatively affect your credit rating
  • The details are held on a public register, which can be searched by anyone although realistically only financial professionals do so

But it’s the differences that determine which is the right debt management solution for you:

  • To qualify for a DSA your debt must be unsecured only - overdrafts, credit cards, storecards and loans etc – while a PIA requires secured debt through Irish-based property or assets in addition to having unsecured debt
  • Your secured debt must be less than €3 million
  • At the end of the PIA only the secured debt to the extent specified in the agreement will be written off. You cannot write off your whole mortgage!
  • A DSA is five years while a PIA is usually six, although it can be extended to seven
  • All PIA agreements contain a clawback clause on any debt written down that could apply for 20 years. So if you sell your property and it has increased in price, some of the equity increase will be given to your creditors

In all other respects DSAs and PIAs are very similar, but the differences between them are what eventually decide which one might be suitable for you and if you would qualify. To find out if a PIA or DSA is right for you, call 0800 193 1024 now and speak to one of our debt consultants. They’ll talk you through everything and help you decide if this type of debt management programme would be the right one for your circumstances.


Do I Qualify?

By answering a few simple questions, our Free PIA Calculator will see if you qualify to write off your unsecured debts and allow you to become debt free!

Be Debt Free In 72 months!

Once in a PIA arrangement you make one affordable monthly repayment towards your debt. After the 72 month period any remaining debt is written off!
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