The legal rights group, FLAC, says the Government must learn from other countries as it considers how to tackle personal debt.
Legislation to reform our personal insolvency system is due to be published by the end of the month.
Irish and international experts are gathering in Dublin today for a conference, organised by FLAC, ahead of the publication of the Personal Insolvency Bill.
The event will be opened by the Social Protection Minister, Joan Burton.
Senior Policy Advisor with FLAC, Paul Joyce, says Ireland's legal system lacks a comprehensive structure for dealing with personal debt.
Among the issues up for discussion will be how to fit mortgage arrears into a new scheme.
One of the speakers today will be a lawyer from Norway. It suffered a similar housing and personal debt crisis in the early 1990s and brought in legislation to include mortgage arrears in out of court debt settlements.