Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has expressed shock at the revelation that some 14,721 repossession letters have been sent by the four banks that appeared before the Oireachtas Finance Committee this week. Deputy Doherty said an additional 2,439 requests for voluntary surrender were sent out.
Speaking today after the final committee meeting of the week Deputy Doherty said:
“This week’s revelations in the Finance Committee from Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and PTSB that they have sent out 14,721 repossession letters and 2,439 requests for voluntary surrender are shocking. This government caved in to the bank’s demands by reversing the Dunne Judgment in their favour and changing the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears to allow them to apply greater pressure to struggling homeowners.
“The most galling thing about the banks’ appearances this week is that they are including sending letters threatening repossession as ‘solutions’. The Central Bank set at a target of 20% of offers to be made by the banks to mortgage holders in arrears of over 90 days. The banks are claiming to have met this target but only by sending out repossession letters.
“Clearly the banks are abusing the system and are not co-operating with mortgage holders in the spirit of the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process. This is not too surprising as Sinn Féin warned that the government’s plan of letting the banks off the leash would inevitably lead to more repossessions and threats of repossessions.
“The Central Bank and Minister Noonan must make it clear to the banks that sending out threatening letters and including these in your figures amounts to fiddling the figures. The arrogance of the banks in attending this week’s meeting without the figures that they sent to the Central Bank is typical of the spoiled brat attitude that comes with the knowledge that the government is on your side.
“I accept that not all of the 14,721 letters sent out will result in repossession but they represent a failure of the banks to face reality and a failure of the government to stand up for struggling homeowners.”
Legal letters sent by bank: Voluntary Surrenders
Bank of Ireland 3,103
AIB 5,894 439
Ulster Bank 4,124
PTSB 1,600 2,000