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Keane report a deep disappointment to 100,000 families in mortgage distress

20 October, 2011 - by Brian Stanley TD


Speaking in the Dáil today on the Report by the Interdepartmental Working Group on Mortgage Arrears, Sinn Féin TD for Laois-Offaly Deputy Brian Stanley said that the “report will be nothing but a deep disappointment to the 100,000 families in serious mortgage distress.”

The Spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government said;

“This report does not provide anything close to a comprehensive solution to the issue of mortgage distress. That is what is needed to solve the mortgage crisis. The main proposal within this document is to leave those in mortgage distress at the mercy of the banks and saddled with decades of unsustainable debt which they will probably never be able to repay.

“People waited to see if this Government were going to provide them with the solutions that they said they would, and have been giving nothing but a tokenistic, minimalist response that won’t do anything to address their mortgage distress.

“It is actually astonishing that three reports were produced over two years and the main conclusion is, after all that has gone on in this country, to leave fixing this problem to the banks. Fine Gael and Labour are clearly happy to pick up where Fianna Fail has left off. There is a better way than this.

“Sinn Féin has long argued for a strengthened Distressed Mortgage Resolution Process, with a stronger code of conduct for mortgage lenders. This process must be backed up with an independent Distressed Mortgage Resolution Board to ensure that decisions taken by lenders represent an appropriate response to mortgage distress.

“Where such a response is to be found wanting the Board must have the legal powers to enforce the right solutions and penalise the lenders for failing to act in an appropriate manor. Mortgage lenders must absorb a significant portion of the losses on the value of mortgage.

“We do not believe that the taxpayer should foot the bill for the mortgage crisis. Nor do we believe that it is necessary for the taxpayer to further compensate banks for the loss in value of their residential mortgage loan books. There is sufficient capital in the banks at present to absorb a significant proportion of these losses.

“The priority of this Government should maintaining the family home; providing appropriate alternatives; ensuring debt sustainability; and sharing the burden fairly to provide the basis for a solution to the causes of the mortgage crisis that is both fair and sustainable for borrowers, lenders and the taxpayer.”

ENDS

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