Help those struggling

Deputy Seámus Kirk wants a mortgage office set up and backed by the Government to help struggling mortgage holders.

Deputy Seámus Kirk wants a mortgage office set up and backed by the Government to help struggling mortgage holders.

“The mortgage crisis is deepening by the day,” Mr Kirk said, “and all we are seeing is Government inaction. It is a full six months since the Keane Report was published and I find it astonishing that many of the key recommendations from the report have not been implemented.

“Under the Fianna Fáil Bill, a person struggling to cope with personal debt can apply to the new office for a Debt Settlement Arrangement. Following a comprehensive assessment of the person’s financial affairs, a personal insolvency trustee makes a proposal to the person’s creditors.

“In relation to mortgages, a borrower could apply to the office for a Mortgage Resolution Order in respect of the family home. The office would then have a number of options which could be included in the Order to ease the pressure on families.

“The Mortgage Resolution Order process would ensure that all distressed mortgage-holders are dealt with in a consistent manner by an independent office and wouldn’t have to rely on the whim of their bank.”

Deputy Kirk added that in October, FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centre) said the recommendations of the Keane Report were “urgently needed”.

“The Government promised, very publicly, that it would act on the recommendations of the Keane Report. They simply have not. People need action now and it seems that the Government is completely unwilling to tackle this issue with any urgency,” he said.