Fine Gael TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Deputy Joe O’Reilly, has today, 27th June, welcomed the Government’s new strategy for assisting those who are in arrears with their mortgage.

‘I am very much aware of the fact that there are currently approx. 3,500 families in mortgage arrears and are facing the very real risk of loosing their homes. That is why I welcome the Government’s strategy for assisting those in mortgage arrears. The strategy includes the following elements:
• Providing comprehensive advice and assistance to those in mortgage difficulty;
• Introducing innovative measures for dealing with debt outside of formal judicial bankruptcy;
• Rebalancing personal insolvency legislation to strike a fairer balance between debtor and creditor;
• Providing positive incentives for debtors to exit insolvency arrangements and pay a proportion of their future income to alleviate debts; and
• Introducing measures to allow families to stay in the home but transfer its ownership to a local authority or approved housing body.’‘There are no quick fixes or a one-size-fits-all solution to the mortgage problem as each family in mortgage arrears faces unique difficulties and we must have a range of solutions which can be adapted to resolve each family’s difficulties. The Government’s strategy to assist those in mortgage difficulty is built around measures in four distinct areas:

1.  Resolution Strategies: In conjunction with the Central Bank, we are ensuring that the banks roll-out as a matter of priority their strategies to assist those in mortgage arrears. The problem of mortgage arrears needs to be resolved quickly in order to assist in restoring public and market confidence in the Irish economy. Resolving unsustainable debt is in the best interests of both individuals and the wider economy.

2. Innovative Personal Insolvency Framework: The introduction of the new Personal Insolvency Bill will incentivise banks to reach an agreed solution with individual borrowers in resolving mortgage arrears cases. The legislation will provide a legal framework for the resolution of mortgage arrears and it will provide certainty for borrowers and lenders alike about the consequences of non-payment and failure to reach agreement. It is expected that the majority of agreements between borrowers and lenders will be made outside of the provisions of the Bill as bilateral agreements between borrowers and lenders, without recourse to the courts, are in the interest of both parties.

3.• Comprehensive Advice and Guidance: In addition to existing arrangements, Government is introducing a range of additional information and guidance resources to assist mortgage holders through what can be a difficult and stressful process.

4. Keeping families in their homes: Protecting the home of the most distressed mortgage holders through a Mortgage to Rent scheme where the ownership of the house passes to an Approved Housing Body or the mortgage lender. The existing owner then becomes a social housing tenant and the State and will, where necessary, subsidise the rental’

‘The Government’s approach to resolving the Mortgage Arrears crisis is carefully calibrated to make sure that assistance is targeted at those who cannot pay as opposed to those will not pay’ concluded the Deputy.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website