Helping people in Mortgage Arrears

This Government has been in office for over three years and we’re still talking about the need to help people in Mortgage arrears. Thankfully, the rate of arrears is no longer growing as steeply as previously, but there are still over 160,000 mortgages in arrears. This amounts to about 500,000 people living in homes that are in arrears. The video above is me speaking on the following motion on November 5, 2014. I hope I’m not giving a similar speech in six months or a year’s time.

That Dáil Éireann notes the continuing difficulties faced by tens of thousands of homeowners in mortgage arrears due to loss of employment and income as a result of the deep recession in the Irish economy from 2008 onwards;

further notes that:

  • the existing Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA), whilst providing comprehensive instructions for creditors dealing with those in arrears, is not fit for purpose and does not provide necessary and important consumer protections; and
  • there is no provision within the Code for lenders and mortgage servers to be mandated to provide necessary solutions for those in arrears which would prioritise safeguarding the family home, in fact lenders have the ability to choose which solutions they like and ignore the one’s that they do not; and

calls on the Minister for Finance to amend the CCMA to mandate all creditors and mortgage servers operating in the State, including lenders or mortgage servers not registered within the State, to offer one of the following solutions to those in mortgage arrears:

  • a split mortgage with no interest payable on the warehoused portion;
  • participation in a reformed mortgage-to-rent scheme; or
  • certainty for any borrower in negative equity selling or surrendering a property as to how the residual debt will be dealt with prior to the sale or surrender of the property.