Proposed legislation on personal insolvency passed the second stage in the Dáil last night without a vote.
The Bill will now move on to Committee Stage in the autumn.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said that he hopes to have the Personal Insolvency Bill enacted before the end of the year.
Mr Shatter said reform in the area was not an easy task, and that the system had to be fair to creditors and debtors alike.
The minister said in many circumstances, creditors were ordinary individuals, and not as was often presumed, financial institutions.
He also said it was extraordinary how little focus that aspect of the legislation had received and how much was centred on financial institutions.