JIS News

The Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency (OSI) and Office of the Government Trustee (OGT) are encouraging persons who have been facing financial obstacles as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to engage the organisations for assistance.

Speaking with JIS News, Deputy Supervisor of Insolvency, Fayola Evans-Roberts, said the organisations offer services that can assist businesses or persons who have seen a reduction in income or have lost their jobs recently.

“A person who is unable to pay their debt, who considers themself insolvent, can approach the OSI to enter into an agreement, whether it is a proposal to avoid bankruptcy or enter into bankruptcy. So, if you feel that you are insolvent and you are unable to pay your debt, then you may contact the OSI and you will be given instructions,” she explained.

Under the Insolvency Act, both individuals and companies are referred to as persons. The threshold for a debtor to access the insolvency regime is a minimum liability of $300,000.00. An insolvent includes persons living in, owning property and having a business in Jamaica.

According to Mrs. Evans-Roberts, in instances where debtors are unable to find a private trustee willing to act, they may apply to the Supervisor of Insolvency who may appoint the Government Trustee.

“A private trustee is a person or firm that holds and administers property or assets for the benefit of a third party. Persons that are unable to find private trustees who consent to dealing with their estate, the supervisory trustee may appoint the Government trustee to administer the estate,” she explained.

Mrs. Evans-Roberts noted that the OSI helps persons gain clarity on their next steps when they have encountered financial difficulties.

“They have to be declared insolvent, so the OSI assesses the individual to ensure they fit the definition of insolvency under the Act. The assessment is done if a person or business is an insolvent, imminent solvent or if they are at the place that they can make a proposal or if they need to apply to go straight into bankruptcy,” she explained.

According to Mrs Evans-Roberts, the organisation has already been working with persons impacted by the pandemic and encouraged persons to contact the OSI for assistance.

“For persons affected by the pandemic, individuals have applied, but we have decided not to apply the formal insolvency regime. What we have done is approach the creditors on behalf of the applicant and the creditors have been responding by making it easier to pay reduced monthly payments,” she noted.

Persons interested in contacting the OSI can telephone 876-929-8332/876-619-1475-6 or by emailing info.osi@micaf.gov.jm.

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