Insolvency advice from a financial expert
02:54, 16 June 2013 by Elaine O’Regan
What it does: debt restructuring and personalinsolvency
Why it works: “There was a lot of help for corporates in terms of liquidation, receivership and examinership, but when it came to personal help, there was actually none, so I ended up looking after ourselves and getting us through the process and negotiating with the banks and the other creditors.” – Paul Carroll, co-founder
When Paul Carroll’s property business failed in 2010, he got in-depth, first-hand experience of the insolvency process. An accountant by profession, Carroll saw the light at the end of the tunnel and realised he could use this experience to help others through insolvency.
“Everything I had was in my personal name. It wasn’t a corporate liquidation as such, so when I went through the insolvency process personally; I went looking for advice and expertise in the area, and there was none,” he said.
A father of five, Carroll needed to find a new way to generate income, and realised there was demand for services that would assist other people facing unmanageable personal debt.
“There was a lot of help for corporates in terms of liquidation, receivership and examinership, but when it came to personal help, there was actually none, so I ended up looking after ourselves and getting us through the process and negotiating with the banks and the other creditors. When I did that, some of my peers were in a similar position, and they asked me to come and help them out and I needed an income, so one thing led to another.”
Carroll’s own experience of insolvency led him to investigate how the bankruptcy process worked in Britain, Australia and the US.
“I then had to go through a process of dealing with the banks, dealing with creditors and, because of my own personal circumstances, I had to go through the bankruptcy process, which essentially was in Northern Ireland because that was my centre of interest.”
Carroll runs Neo Financial Solutions with his wife Jane in Howth, north Dublin. The company charges a fee of €250 for initial consultations and, from there, its rates vary, depending on each client’s individual circumstances.
“The fee completely depends on how much money is involved,” he said. “If a couple came to us, they had a family home and maybe an investment property, we would probably charge them in or around a €3,000 fee to negotiate with the bank and get some kind of result, or to bring them through a process where they are able to go through insolvency.”
Carroll has applied for approval to act as a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP) when the new Personal Insolvency Bill comes into effect, and expects Neo’s business to grow significantly on foot of its introduction.
“When the new insolvency process was discussed last year, we really took hold of that and wrote our guide, and I became an expert in the area,” he said.
“As an accountant, I understand the liquidation process of companies so that background and that was critical, but I had to take the insolvency bill and study it. I also had to understand the bankruptcy legislation, which is archaic in this country.”