A Sinn Féin councillor has expressed "disappointment" with two Galway West TDs who voted against a Bill in the Dáil that would seek to prevent sales of mortgages to vulture funds without the consent of the mortgage holder.
Sinn Féin's ‘No Consent, No Sale’ Bill, officially the Central Bank (Transfer of Mortgages ) Bill, proposed by Pearse Doherty TD, was passed in the Dáil recently, despite Government opposition. The Bill states that a "loan secured by the mortgage of residential property may not be transferred without the written consent of the borrower".
SF Galway City East councillor Mairéad Farrell said she was "particularly disappointed" to see FG Galway West TDs, Seán Kyne and Hildegarde Naughton, vote against the Bill. However, as the Bill passed through the Dáil by 80 votes to 45, the Government "now has to listen to the will of the Dáil", and Cllr Farrell is urging the Government to "allow it to progress as speedily as possible".
'It is vital this legislation now moves speedily through the remaining legislative stages'
Cllr Farrell said the passing of the Bill was a "first major step forward" in the fight against vulture funds in Ireland. The Bill puts into law what already exists at the moment as a Central Bank code of practice. Cllr Farrell though noted that the code was only voluntary and said it was "not worth the paper it's written on".
“Last November, a State-owned bank that had been bailed out by the Irish people, announced it was selling over 6,000 family home loans to an unknown entity," she said. "These loans were meeting their arrangement. They were being thrown to the vultures despite doing the right thing of engaging and making a permanent arrangement with the bank. That's an outrageous way to treat people."
Cllr Farrell said that with the "amount of banks" seeking to "offload mortgages to vultures", it was "vital that this legislation now moves speedily through the remaining legislative stages".