Newly published proposals on tackling the mortgage crisis will put homeowners “back in the driving seat” instead of giving “all the power to the banks”.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson and Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív, who was speaking about the party’s Mortgage Resolution Bill 2013.
The proposals call for the establishment of an independent office to resolve personal debt issues. The proposed office would have the authority to provide binding Mortgage Resolution Orders such as a split mortgage where part of the loan is parked for up to 10 years; interest only payments for up to four years; extending the period of the mortgage by up to 20 years; a repayment holiday for up to 12 months; an adjustment to the interest rate; a debt for equity swap; participation in a deferred interest scheme; and in the event of voluntary surrender, the financial institution will lease the family home to the borrower at a market rent.
Dep Ó Cuív said unsustainable mortgage debt is “one of the biggest barriers to growth and recovery”, but that the Government has “failed to respond to the crisis in a way that supports mortgage holders”.
Dep Ó Cuív said the Government’s plan to help those struggling with debt is to “hand the banks a veto” through the Personal Insolvency Bill and then “give the banks even more powers” through the latest mortgage resolution plans.
“This is not a plan to support people who are crippled by debt,” he said. “It is a bankers’ charter that removes important protections for homeowners and moves the threat of repossession centre stage