Minister for Justice and Equality Helen McEntee is to draft new legislation aiming to help borrowers at risk of losing their home.

The Personal Insolvency Amendment Bill will reform personal insolvency legislation to increase supports for borrowers whose income has been severely hit by the pandemic.

The minister said it was a short but urgent bill that will tackle a number of issues in existing legislation.

Minister McEntee added that these problems risk denying homeowners in difficulty the protection afforded by the Personal Insolvency Acts if they are struggling to pay what they owe.

The Personal Insolvency Amendment Act 2015 introduced a protection for insolvent homeowners who were struggling to pay their mortgage arrears.

It allowed them the right to seek review by a court if their mortgage lender or other creditors refused a reasonable proposal for a personal insolvency arrangement.

However, that protection currently only applies to home mortgage arrears dating from before 1 January 2015.

This new legislation would remove the condition that mortgage arrears must pre-date 1 January 2015.

The minister said the bill is a priority for the autumn session under the Government Legislative Programme.