Posted on May 14, 2013 5:06 PM   |   Permanent Link   

Speaking in the Dáil on the critical need for the Government to tackle the failure of the Banks and Mortgage lenders to meaningfully engage with homeowners to address mortgage distress.

"I thank the Ceann Comhairle for allowing me to raise this matter as a topical issue and I thank the Minister for attending in the House. I'm sure that every Deputy in this House has constituents who are in a distressed state, contacting him or her in relation to their mortgage arrears."

"It is a widely held view that the odds are stacked in favour of the Banks and Mortgage lenders and that there is a need to for further protection to the mortgage consumer. I understand that there are more than 23,000 homeowners who are more than two years in arrears with their mortgages. I believe nobody should be asked to leave their home and they should have the option to remain in the home as tenants as a last resort. I believe that all solutions should be based on the borrower's net disposable income."

"The Irish Brokers Association and the Independent Mortgage Advisers Federation have responded last month to the Consultation Paper on the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears and suggested a number of alternatives.
They have suggested that a borrower be given 60 days' notice, and not 30 days, in the context of the Personal Insolvency Act before a lender commences legal action."

"I would support the suggestion that borrowers should be able to contact a dedicated team of identifiable people with dedicated phone lines instead of having to ring 1800/18500 telephone numbers and having to wait in a long queue to get through to make contact which compounds their difficulties."

"It has been pointed out that, unlike what happens in the UK, VAT will be charged on the Personal Insolvency Practioners fees, which are ultimately added on to mortgage. I would urge that this should be changed.
The Irish Brokers Association and the Independent Mortgage Advisers Federation have expressed concern about the appeals process and they have suggested that the Central Bank should investigate the rulings to date of the Mortgage Appeals Board."

"We need to know the percentage of cases for each bank
• Where the original decision of the bank was appealed and granted in full by the Mortgage Appeals Board
• Where the original decision of the bank was appealed and partially granted by the Mortgage Appeals Board
• Where the original decision of the bank was upheld by the Mortgage Appeals Board.

I wish to raise the mortgage situation with the Priory Hall homeowners in my Dublin Bay North Constituency. I would ask the Minister if he could intervene with the various lending institutions and arrange for their mortgages to be frozen as at the date of the evacuation until a solution is found.
Collectively the residents are approximately a million euro further in debt today than we were at the time of the evacuation. Their average mortgage is now circa €20k in arrears and will continue to rise as the matter drags on indefinitely."

"There is huge distress for the Priory Hall homeowners around the lending institutions seeking payment of the accrued interest and capital as part of the monthly repayment should a solution be found as the average mortgage will have increased by circa €250 per month, a sum which many residents will not be in a position to pay, thus leading to a repossession situation on top of the stress associated with already losing their homes.
There is also huge distress around the Priory Hall residents' credit ratings given the large "arrears" as the banks are dealing with them as they do with customers in mortgage arrears not as a special case, i.e. that they are prohibited from living in their homes and the arrears may be record with the Irish Credit Bureau thus affecting their future credit rating. Again, this is distressing as they may not be in a position to avail of future credit for family homes, cars, school & college fees if their credit rating has been destroyed because of the Priory Hall situation."