Personal insolvency applications reach record high

July sees largest annual spike to date in year of Covid-19 financial difficulties

Personal insolvency applications reached a record high in July, according to figures from business and credit risk analyst CRIF Vision-net.

The Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) received 239 applications for personal insolvency arrangements, debt relief notices and debt settlement arrangements. This is a 125 per cent increase on the 106 applications made in July last year.

The number of applications to the ISI have been higher in almost all months this year in comparison to 2019, CRIF Vision-net said, but July has seen the largest spike to date.

The majority of the applications – 199 of the 239 total – were for personal insolvency arrangements, which were at their highest level since the inception of the ISI in 2013.


A personal insolvency arrangement involves a formal agreement with creditors that writes off some unsecured debt and restructures any remaining secured debt, while keeping the person in their home where possible. In July 2019, there were 66 such applications, meaning they have soared 202 per cent year-on-year.

Debt settlement

Debt settlement arrangements, which are another type of formal agreement with creditors, rose from just five applications in July 2019 to 26 this July.

Separately, there were 235 protective certificates issued by the courts. These certificates offer the debtor and their assets protection from legal proceedings by creditors while they are in the process of applying for a debt settlement arrangement or personal insolvency arrangement.

This number was up from 52 protective certificates in July 2019 and may point to further personal insolvencies to come.