Mortgage misery will be eased for thousands next month, but only if the banks play ball, writes Stephen Donnelly

This week, the most important piece of legislation to come from this Government reaches report stage in Dail Eireann. It will then do one more lap of the Oireachtas before being passed into law next month. Minister Shatter’s intention for the Personal Insolvency Bill is admirable, but its success requires a fundamental shift from the banks in how they deal with borrowers.

The Bill provides three legal mechanisms. The first is a Debt Relief Notice, allowing for the write-off of unsecured debts up to €20,000 after a three-year period. The borrower must have no assets, no disposable income and no realistic chance of paying off their debts.